Despite the importance of its function as a progressive educational unit the University Film Foundation has suffered a gradual financial decline which brought it this year to the point of cessation. Fortunately the University has averted immediate death of the organization by taking it over as a subsidiary and alleviating its financial distress. This move was, however, accompanied by a declaration that the distributive work of the Foundation would be cut to the minimum and active production of films completely stopped.
There has been a growing realization of the vast educational possibilities presented by motion pictures and in many schools this graphic method of teaching has been advanced to a position of prime importance. Wide use of moving pictures in science, history, and fine arts courses would offer all students the advantage of a vivid, concise presentation of carefully arranged subject matter and would reduce the burden of lecturing to the minimum. At Harvard it would allow the upper stratum of the faculty, now overweighted with course work, to devote more of its time to individual and tutorial studies. These benefits cannot be secured if the Film Foundation is allowed to languish in silence to an unmourned demise. Stimulated by an increased use of its productions in courses, it might be placed upon a firm financial basis. It should then be absorbed into the academic structure and its services placed at the disposal of other departments. Action along these lines should be taken immediately while the basic structure of the Foundation still offers the starting point for the proposed growth.