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Hey crew,


Hope this isn't against any rules but figured if there was ever an audience for this, it's everyone here. So I just wanted to spread the word and ask for help for an amazing cinema arts organization here in NYC. It's called Mono No Aware and its director, Steve Cossman, has been running really fantastic 8mm and 16mm film based workshops and screenings in NYC and honestly all over the country and world for 10 years now. Most of those workshops have been out of its directors apartment in Brooklyn as well as NYC-based community darkrooms.


I just want to be clear... I don't work for Mono No Aware or Steve. And have only taken a few workshops from MNA (like the 500T reversal one I documented here or b&w caffenol non-toxic processing or b&w reversal) which I loved and made me really fall in love with the format and the tangible aspect of it.


Anyways, Mono No Aware is running a kickstarter to start the world's first motion picture non-profit lab here in Brooklyn, NYC to help the artist community and grow that community as well. It will feature lots of capbilities like processing, 2k scanning, rentals and more workshop space.


From projects like Impossible Project's film and camera, New 55/New55 Color instant film, Film Ferrania, Kodak's new camera/processing and other film based projects, a lot of really awesome things are happening in film now that things are leveling out in terms of digital adoption. Let's make it happen! (Also donate to New55 Color if you can! I don't even have a 4x5 but donated to help keep peelapart alive)


Here's a bit of info directly from the kickstarter but check it out and donate what you can. If there was ever an organization that deserves some filmmakers cash, it's MNA and Steve Cossman. That man puts his life and soul into making it thrive.



MONO NO AWARE is a cinema-arts non-profit organization working to promote connectivity through the cinematic experience and preserve the technologies of traditional motion picture filmmaking.



  • Organized 38 Local workshops for 420 workshop participants in Brooklyn
  • Traveled to lead 40 Classes and lectures at host institutions for 600 participants through outreach programs
  • Facilitated 100+ equipment rentals
  • Distributed 50,000 feet of film stock for 1,000's of filmmakers
  • Presented 20 artist-in person screenings for 1,000 audience members
  • Presented the work of 33 international artists at our 9th annual exhibition to an audience of 900 over 2 nights

The MONO Lab will be unique because in addition to our strong educational initiative and active screening series, we will be able to offer the services of a commercial lab, affordable facilities for continued practice, and we will increase our ability to host international artists for production of new work and presentation opportunities. With the equipment donations from a major motion picture lab, professional animation studios, and several post-production facilities, we now have the ability to provide so much more--all under one roof. With our space we can become self sustaining in our efforts to engage and play a larger supporting role within that landscape on all levels.



The more that we can raise through this campaign the more we can make available to a greater number of people. Increased services and facilities will include:


This is a critical point in the history of the moving image. With your help, we can make this new space a reality.


Mono No Aware is a 501©(3) organization, which means your donation is tax deductable.






So ya. There's my plea. I'm donating. Hope you do too! And be sure and take a workshop if you're ever in NYC!

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The world's first in Brooklyn :) Americanism to think anything which happens in one's neighbourhood there must a world's first or biggest.


And what about the NY business of commercial labs? In the end this non-profit will fail and the commercial ones were busted thanks to the loss of customers.

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I don't understand the negativity Andries. I have done something to defend you? I'm merely asking for support for a non-profit lab. I didn't realize my statement was so offensive. Do you know of another non-profit lab? I'd gladly revise the post if so.


Otherwise, why not support the very organizations and groups that are helping keep film alive and attracting new filmmakers? MNA has helped me get into filmmaking personally and the non-profit has been steadily growing over the last 10 years and is currently putting on a 20 night film festival featuring various works on 8mm and 16mm. They do numerous workshops and screenings throughout the year to promote filmmaking on real film. Maybe if you'd met the founder, Steve, you'd see that he just loves film and wants it to flourish with more shooters and artists.


Plus, I feel like the small amount of artists that will ultimately use this lab will not affect the livelihood of commercial labs. They are different demographics (fine art vs commercial). Like I would probably still send any wedding I shot to CineLab but smaller personal projects to MONO. But at the same time, I think the labs and scanners still around are doing well. CineLab is great but even when I send them footage for development it takes longer than they expect because they are so swamped. MONO wouldn't be gunning for the giant tens-of-thousands of footage jobs that keep pro labs like CineLab or Spectra open.


I guess I'm a bit stunned at your reply and don't understand wishing ill will upon the organization? It's seems needlessly antagonist in a time where film needs all the support it can get. But I'm all ears...

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Think of LIFT in Toronto. And the world is even larger beyond North-America.


Starting supplying free non-profit service it just f*ing the business of commercial labs.

Which are far more important for serious cinematographers than volunteer

services. BTW Is everybody working for nothing at the planned lab?

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"Non-profit" (at least in the US) has a legal meaning - that the entity doesn't exist for the purpose of making a profit. It exists (in this case) to promote filmmaking. But that doesn't mean that it won't charge enough to cover its costs, and that includes employees, rent, chemistry, equipment, etc.


I own a for-profit scanning/grading/restoration business about 4 hours drive north of New York. I honestly don't see this lab as a threat, even if they're offering scanning services. There are plenty of facilities like ours (Cinelab is one) that charge reasonable rates and offer a broader depth of services than what Mono No Aware is looking to do and people will use those professional facilities when they realize they've outgrown MNA.


Here, at least, even the film schools are shooting less film these days. The school I went to here in Boston still does some. We just had a class from my alma mater in the office last week to scan some film and get a color correction demo, and in talking with the students, most were really interested in shooting film but were doing a lot of their work digitally simply due to time and budget constraints.


Anything that gets more people into film will help for-profit businesses and professional services. What Mono No Aware's aim is, from what I can tell, is to do just that. Not to replace the services offered by professional labs. At least, that's how it looks from here.




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  • 3 weeks later...

I have to say I think Mono No Aware is a terrific initiative.


I agree with Perry's assessment and he should know... I have used Gamma Ray Digital's services (Perry's company) and they are top notch. I will be using them again.


As someone who attended NYU film school back in the late 70's / early 80's, I remember when I could drop off a roll of B/W reversal film to a local lab in the morning and have it back in the afternoon. We had at least half-a-dozen labs to choose from back then in Manhattan.


To the best of my knowledge, there are no remaining film labs in the greater New York City metropolitan era. I couldn't find any for a recent project of mine so I had to use Cinelab in the Boston area (still in business, thank goodness) and Alpha Cine in Seattle, which sadly is no longer in business.


This is a sad thing indeed given the thousands of talented young artists living in the NYC area, particularly in Brooklyn, which is a thriving hub of young artists of all types, many of which would jump at the chance to undertake projects using Super 8mm and/or 16mm film if resources were readily available and reasonably priced. I have helped fund movie and multimedia projects (all digital based) for a few Brooklyn-based artists and some of them have expressed a real interest in doing something using film.


I wish Mono No Aware the best of luck and they are in the perfect place and time to make this happen.



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Congratulations to Mono No Aware for achieving (and exceeding) its Kickstarter goal. I was more than happy to contribute and I look forward to its future motion picture lab in Brooklyn NY. I wish them success and will urge those young artists I know in and around Brooklyn to go ahead and work on a project, big or small, that uses Super 8mm and/or 16mm film!

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