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Film Festivals

Film Festivals Unite!

1 Mar , 2001  

Written by Judy Laster | Posted by:

The film festival directors from across New England join together to make the local fest circuit more powerful than ever.

In a first for this area, on Sunday, February 4, 2001, festival directors from all over New England met in Boston for what was the first meeting of the New England Film Festival Directors Collaborative. The festivals represented at the meeting ranged from some of New England’s newest to some of the oldest, and while each festival director came to the meeting for individual reasons, it quickly became clear that there were many issues to discuss and a commonality of interests and concerns.

The idea for this collaborative grew out of discussions among several festival directors about the need to develop a vehicle to communicate with each other. There was also a general feeling that due to the sheer number of film festivals held, not only in New England, but worldwide, the challenges and opportunities facing festivals are ever-changing and require the ability to respond deftly and appropriately within the framework of each festival.

For this initial meeting, invitations were extended to the directors of all known film festivals in New England. The festivals represented at the meeting included: Boston Underground Film Festival; BFVF’s New England Film and Video Festival; Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Film Festival; Film Fest New Haven; Nantucket Film Festival; Roxbury Film Festival; and the Woods Hole Film Festival. Representatives of several other festivals included the Lake Placid Film Festival, Maine International Film Festival and Rhode Island International Film Festival indicated their interest in future participation. The Collaborative welcomes directors of all New England Film Festivals in this process.

Any reservations about attending the meeting were immediately dispelled at the introduction phase, when it became clear that although each festival was distinct, each festival brought something to the table that could help the others. The list of discussion points was so long that we were only able to scratch the surface of our initial conversations, even though the meeting lasted for the better part of a day. One major conclusion from this meeting is that we have much to gain by collaborating on ideas and by supporting each other. With the generosity of NewEnglandFilm.com we are establishing an online communication venue and will meet again in September. [Note: if you’d like to sign up to receive news from local festivals, send an email to festival-update@newenglandfilm.com with only the word subscribe in the body of the message.]

Given the energy and excitement in this meeting, held on a cold, cloudy day in February, it’s safe to expect some great things from this collaboration. For more information about becoming involved in the New England Film Festival Directors Collaborative please contact: Nina Adams, Film Fest New Haven at info@filmfest.org or Judy Laster, Woods Hole Film Festival at woho3@aol.com.