"We don't have films you can eat"

Cooper, Margaret

Year Published:  2005   First Published:  1983
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20930

An interview with the members of DEC Films, a project of the Development Education Centre. Originally published in Jump Cut, No. 28, April 1983, pp. 37-40.



A unique Canadian phenomenon, DEC Films grew out of the Development Education Centre, an independent, non-profit collective established in 1971 by New Left activists and researchers interested in providing alternative educational perspectives on Canada, the Third World and a wide range of contemporary issues. DEC Films forms an integral part of the Toronto-based collective, which houses a reference library and a bookstore and produces books, radio programs, slide-tape shows and community workshops. It has become the leading distributor of progressive films in English-speaking Canada since its founding in 1974. Over the past seven years, it has upheld an uncompromising commitment to distribute films about social and political struggles throughout the world as well as accommodate the legitimate needs of national independent filmmaking which critically documents and analyzes Canadian reality.

The following conversation between three members of the DEC collective and Margaret Cooper, a film programmer and freelance writer in Toronto, took place over a two year-period in an ongoing dialogue about the work of DEC Films, its distinctive role in English-speaking Canada, and its responsibilities toward independent left Canadian filmmaking.

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