Boldly facing keeping the arts "essential" in a time of an uncertain pandemic...we decided to keep the momentum from our last season in Amsterdam going while we rebranded...moved overseas...and are continuing....during a pandemic! While other festivals opted to go virtual, we decided the core and essence of what a festival truly is is that live interaction of passionate people that crave interaction (esp. after a year of pseudo quarantine!) Who will benefit is the entire all- volunteer staff of this non profit organization. We are all in school working full time and put every extra waking minute into planning this event. The community will benefit as they will have a wonderful summer event to look forward to being entertained, educated and enlightened at scenic Huntington Beach. Independent filmmakers will have a platform, even in this trying year, and have a chance for their work to be seen by as many eyeballs as possible. And we have up and coming artists that we "incubate" in receiving a chance at networking. Bottom line, emails and resumes do not cut it. It IS all who you know..and how are you supposed to meet those people you are supposed to know if we are not face to face? We are in the business of connecting people, audiences, filmmakers, artists, fun lovers, the "entourage" everyone and anyone is welcome to have an unforgettable experience.
The funds will be mainly be used for the basic operations needed to run a film festival, the main being venues. While for two out of the three venues we did receive a nonprofit discount, monies are still needed to pay the required security guards and for COVID safety protocols. Also, to become a non profit is a costly venture. We had to employ a lawyer to prepare the paper work and had to pay the IRS and the state of California huge fees for the privilege of nonprofit status. We go up in June and are working as hard as we can to get finances in order from potential sponsors, donors and supporters. Thus far, I have paid mainly out of pocket for all deposits and upfront costs.
The support any one gives is beyond appreciated. I have seen people's lives changed, literally, by Go Fund Me and the grass roots support, in my mind, is the future rather than the questionable ethics that can come with corporate sponsors. Our festival is grass roots and it makes sense to fundraise as such. This festival has been my dream in the making for 10 years. I can't see myself doing anything else. I have been blessed along the way to have such amazing volunteers who shared my vision and came along for this epic ride. I dream to one day be able to pay them accordingly as well. I think that serendipity has served us well and my main vision is to continue that interconnectivity among passionate people and be the conduit for that creative life force. In this day and age there is much uncertainty, one thing I am confident about, is that this has been a test for our human perseverance, and we will not only survive this, but thrive! There is no other way. I think it has made us deliberate what we really value int is existence, and I believe our festival..the Zeitgeist...the "sign of the times" is right where it should be. Thank you for your support, honestly, it means the world to me.