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Film Festival in Greenville

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After reading the attached article, just curious to get everyones thoughts on how Greenville could go about getting a film festival going. Greenville is doing very well with events and tourism (US Pro Cycling, Artisphere, Fall for Greenville, BMW Pro Am, Scottish Highland Games, Shakespeare in the Park, etc). Just running thoughts around in my head about a film festival. We've got the venue (downtown), the great weather, the energy, the location. Thoughts? Ideas?

http://greenvilleonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/...ENT03/606190305

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After reading the attached article, just curious to get everyones thoughts on how Greenville could go about getting a film festival going. Greenville is doing very well with events and tourism (US Pro Cycling, Artisphere, Fall for Greenville, BMW Pro Am, Scottish Highland Games, Shakespeare in the Park, etc). Just running thoughts around in my head about a film festival. We've got the venue (downtown), the great weather, the energy, the location. Thoughts? Ideas?

http://greenvilleonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/...ENT03/606190305

This is an interesting idea, gsupstate. While I do not know enough about film festivals to have any meaningful suggestions, I do hope something like that could happen in Greenville. Here is one quote I really liked, that is good advice for life in general (not just films):

"People are scared to take risks on things that are outside of the box," Hopper says, citing a recent New York Times article and tugging at his starched collar. "You don't end up with anything really bad, but on the flip side, you don't end up with anything really good either. It always sticks to the mold."

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Don't Cherrydale Cinemas and Furman University co-sponsor an annual film festival already, or is it history now? :unsure: It'd be great to hold it downtown instead of at Cherrydale, that's for sure.

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Don't Cherrydale Cinemas and Furman University co-sponsor an annual film festival already, or is it history now? :unsure: It'd be great to hold it downtown instead of at Cherrydale, that's for sure.
There is an Indie Film Fest that's sponsored by Cherrydale, The Beat and others. But it's not really an event as much as it is a number of indie films exhibited one per week over several weeks. Basically, they make cinema screens available to indie films (during weeknights) for a month or so.

A Film Festival would be something more than that. There would be awards, premieres (even if it's just the Southeast premiere), key personalities (if not actors, then production personnel), speaking engagements, and more. And it would be in a very concentrated time-frame -- meaning you'd need lots of screens available.

The concentrated nature of such an event is probably the biggest hurdle. Greenville's downtown doesn't have lots of screens (even if you could get stage theaters to participate) and to hold it at our multiplexes would be difficult, even if it didn't seem "tacky." That's because these theater complexes -- two of three of which are nationally-owned -- would have to all but give up receipts for big-time films that they could have running. It gets their base customers running to the competition to see the remake of Gilligan's Island, Garfield V, and Teenage Chainsaw Bikini Weekend (the latter being a movie that -- in all honesty -- I might look forward to seeing on Cinemax...but I digress).

I agree it would be great. And I won't say it's impossible. But it would take a more creative mind than mine to make a respectable (100+ tourist-generating) Film Festival here a reality.

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^ Good point Fiddlestix about the venues.

I could imagine this being done one week in the fall or spring (when Greenville's weather is incredible) and having large screens all over downtown (outside), much like the Moonlight Movies. A screen could be set-up in Falls Park, at the Peace Center Amphitheater, Piazza Bergamo, East Court, Heritage Green, etc, etc. Outside screens, along with downtown theater venues. Maybe it starts small....only a couple of indies over a weekend. In addition to Upstate, advertise right in Atlanta and Charlotte and you could get a great response.

Just day dreaming.......

And a film fest always reminds me of Southpark....

Anybody remember the Southpark episode where the Film Fest moved to Southpark and brought in all the hoards of yuppies and new-agers who overwhelmed the town? Hysterical episode. :rofl::rofl: (And for the record, I'm not equating Greenville with Southpark).

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Greenville is about to get even more international; The first annual French Film Festival will be held at The Peace Center on December 30! Six short films will be shown starting at 4:30pm and 7:30pm. Price is $8.50 per person. This is an event you'll definitely want to plan on attending, if you enjoy great foreign films as much as I do. :shades:

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Greenville is about to get even more international; The first annual French Film Festival will be held at The Peace Center on December 30! Six short films will be shown starting at 4:30pm and 7:30pm. Price is $8.50 per person. This is an event you'll definitely want to plan on attending, if you enjoy great foreign films as much as I do. :shades:

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What's the downtown Greenville venue like?

There are a few in the Triangle - the NC Gay & Lesbian Fim Festival, the Nevermore (Sci-Fi & Horror), the Full Frame Documentary Film Fest, and the Hi Mom! Film Fest. Planning for one starts as soon as the previous years' wraps up, and you'd have to build a local and regional audience, and hit the press (film writers at the major local and regional papers, but also get press releases and invites - especially if there are any premieres - to film magazines and web journals like Film Comment or Cineaste).

The 1st 3 of those have a mix of backing - they all arose independently, but they got a downtown venue (the Carolina Theatre, which is 3 or 4 screens, and is run by the city). I don't know how the money is worked out, but it's a city venue with corporate and private sponsors; you can buy individual tickets for specific films, a pass for the entire fest, or buy in as a pvt sponsor. Museums and university facilities have been used as secondary venues here as well.

The Full Frame is run by a non-profit, the brainchild of a Duke-affiliated documentary filmmaker who set up a department @ the Univ, pulled in some grant money I believe, and then called every connection she had in the industry to get it going, and over a decade or so it's grown into a 3-day, multi-venue event.

The other thing (the French Film Festival sounds like a very good idea) is just finding a niche - Full Frame is all documentary, Hi Mom! is all d.i.y., grassroots short films, etc. If there's a French population in the area, to put this on the map, run a mix of classics, contemporary films, and try to sneak in something rare - look to screen a film that might not have gotten a wide US release (or an SC release). On all three of those fronts, there are several distributors like New Yorker, Janus/Criterion and Facets Multimedia that have vast catalogs of international film. The thing to not do is just try to copy something like Sundance or Toronto; there are many, many "independent" film fests already, so finding something more specialized and marketable (ultimately, not just marketable in G'ville) is essential.

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What's the downtown Greenville venue like?

There are a few in the Triangle - the NC Gay & Lesbian Fim Festival, the Nevermore (Sci-Fi & Horror), the Full Frame Documentary Film Fest, and the Hi Mom! Film Fest. Planning for one starts as soon as the previous years' wraps up, and you'd have to build a local and regional audience, and hit the press (film writers at the major local and regional papers, but also get press releases and invites - especially if there are any premieres - to film magazines and web journals like Film Comment or Cineaste).

The 1st 3 of those have a mix of backing - they all arose independently, but they got a downtown venue (the Carolina Theatre, which is 3 or 4 screens, and is run by the city). I don't know how the money is worked out, but it's a city venue with corporate and private sponsors; you can buy individual tickets for specific films, a pass for the entire fest, or buy in as a pvt sponsor. Museums and university facilities have been used as secondary venues here as well.

The Full Frame is run by a non-profit, the brainchild of a Duke-affiliated documentary filmmaker who set up a department @ the Univ, pulled in some grant money I believe, and then called every connection she had in the industry to get it going, and over a decade or so it's grown into a 3-day, multi-venue event.

The other thing (the French Film Festival sounds like a very good idea) is just finding a niche - Full Frame is all documentary, Hi Mom! is all d.i.y., grassroots short films, etc. If there's a French population in the area, to put this on the map, run a mix of classics, contemporary films, and try to sneak in something rare - look to screen a film that might not have gotten a wide US release (or an SC release). On all three of those fronts, there are several distributors like New Yorker, Janus/Criterion and Facets Multimedia that have vast catalogs of international film. The thing to not do is just try to copy something like Sundance or Toronto; there are many, many "independent" film fests already, so finding something more specialized and marketable (ultimately, not just marketable in G'ville) is essential.

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^

Sounds like a much better venue than many cities have; I'm a serious film geek, so I always pretty much want these kinds of things to succeed, and especially NC & SC, given the numbers of film-savvy people around. There's a lot of folks in the area looking beyond Hollywood, and there are both cultural and business opportunities in most of the larger NC/SC cities on that front.

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Just a reminder that the French Film Festival is this Saturday!

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