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Smithsonian Deal With Showtime Restricts Access Filmmakers
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Motion picture directors & producers; Public access; Archives & records
Author: Trescott, Jacqueline
Date: Apr 4, 2006
Start Page: C.01
Section: STYLE

Filmmakers who have relied on the vast holdings of the Smithsonian, and typically pay to use historic film or copy an artifact, have raised objections to the new policy of limited access to the public collections. Now most filmmakers will not have in- depth use of Smithsonian materials unless they are creating work for the Smithsonian/Showtime unit.

Jeanny Kim, the vice president for media services at Smithsonian Business Ventures, said the filmmakers who were doing "more than an incidental treatment" of a subject mainly from Smithsonian materials or wishing to focus on a Smithsonian curator or scientist would first have to offer the idea to Smithsonian/Showtime. Otherwise, the archives could not be used outside the realm of news programs (such as "60 Minutes" and "Dateline") in most cases.

The Smithsonian was looking for a way to develop its own film and television materials, said Kim. That division oversees the for- profit units of the museum, including its gift shops and Smithsonian magazine. Kim said one goal is to make sure the public knew that any new films were relying on Smithsonian artifacts and personnel.

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