After spending three decades building a unique film library and the better part of a year trying to preserve it, how wonderfully rewarding it is to know the interests of both the public and film students will be served with the collection finding a home at UBC and SFU” – Graham Peat, co-owner
Vancouver film enthusiasts were uniformly saddened by the closure of the city’s foremost video rental institution, Videomatica. UBC is delighted to welcome the collection (which contains around 30,000 films) to the university’s library, and to help assist in the preservation of films and film education in Vancouver.
Originally founded in 1983 by UBC film grads Graham Peat and Brian Bosworth, Videomatica grew to become one of Vancouver’s most beloved and well-known independent video rental institutions. The collection of films gained a reputation as having an exceptionally broad collection of hard-to-find obscure titles ranging from foreign films to cult films and silent classics.
The store was forced to close in the spring of last year due to the rise of illegal downloading and alternative online rental methods. After much deliberation over the future of the collection, it was able to find a home at UBC. Thanks to the kind support of local philanthropist Yosef Wosk, Peat and Bosworth found a place for their extensive and valuable film collection at UBC and SFU.
The Videomatica collection is unparalleled in its selection, featuring titles that are as diverse as they are extensive. Obscure and difficult to find Canadian films, foreign exports from across the globe and many selections from the Vancouver International Film Festival all now sit together at UBC. It is no wonder that Videomatica was often touted as having the best selection of film titles in the country.
A blog set up by film director Nimisha Mukerji (65 Red Roses) as a tribute to Videomatica. The creators asked fans of Videomatica to write reviews of their favorite rentals, ones that could not be easily obtained by other means (ie Netflix or Pirate Bay). One film review was posted on the blog every day from June 1st, 2011 until the store’s official closing.
Videomatica Sales at Zulu Records
Empty Shelves, directed by longtime Videomatica regular Laurent Goldstein, is a short documentary about the impact that Videomatica’s closure had on the Vancouver film community.
Dr. Davinia Thornley (University of Otago) researches the intersection of film festival attendance and indigenous activism as it applies to Toronto’s imagineNATIVE Festival, and other indigenous festivals.
Catherine Griff (Swinburne University) explores how creators of screen fiction engage with their audiences, including case studies of high profile Australian producers and interviews with Canadian digital media creators.
Miguel Olid researched Spanish/Canadian co-productions, and the distribution of Spanish cinema abroad during his stay at the Centre.
Alexander Pavlov researched cult cinema's transnationalism during his stay at the Centre.
Jenna Ng examined the function of machinima, films shown in virtual worlds, or media suspended in between game, image, avatar and our selves, during her stay at the Centre.
Rebecca Coyle was researching the on-screen presence of Bowen Island, and the soundscapes of Baz Luhrmann and The Jetsons during her stay at the Centre.
María del Mar Grandío studied new ways of television fiction production on online platforms in Canada during her stay at the Centre.
Philip Drake researched the reception and political economy of Hollywood's operations in Canada during his stay at the Centre.
Steffen Hantke researched representations of the Cold War during his stay at the Centre.
Angela Piccini studied representations of archaeological heritage in factual screen media contextualized by the 2010 Olympic Games.
Tomáš Pospíšil Visiting Scholar June-August 2007, and August 2010.
Murray Pomerance conducted research on cinematic representations of early applications of electricity while visiting the Centre.
Jamie Sexton executed preparatory research on world cult cinema while staying the Centre.