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.
Rebecca Coyle was researching the on-screen presence of Bowen Island, and investigating early Australian cinema composers, and the soundscapes of Baz Luhrmann and The Jetsons.
Professor Philip Drake was researching the reception and political economy of Hollywood's operations in Canada.
María del Mar Grandío was studying the production of TV fiction in Canada, specially, the new ways of production in the new online platforms.
Professor Angela Piccini was studying representations of archaeological heritage in factual screen media contextualized by the 2010 Olympic Games, January-September 2009.
Tomáš Pospíšil is a Visiting Scholar to UBC and Associate Professor in the Department of English and American Studies, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in Brno.