Thursday, June 13, 2013

Please Help The Valley Film Festival Reach Our $30,000 Fundraising Goal

Dear Friends of VFF:

June is a magical month for us.  It was on June 1, 2000 that the idea behind The Valley Film Festival (VFF) was born.  

After 15 months of non-profit paperwork and planning, the first festival launched on October 26, 2001, at my childhood stomping grounds, the Sherman Oaks Galleria.  My dream to further the education, production and distribution of filmmaking in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley has been going strong for 13 amazing years!  This has been possible through the generosity of an awesome all-volunteer staff, fabulous in-kind sponsors and non-profit support from Community Partners.

Now, as The Valley Film Festival has reached the awkward teen years, we need your financial support. 

We've been tasked with raising $30,000 cash, by June 30, or risk being fined. While the fine is minimal by comparison ($3,000), it will eat into our 2013 festival funds.  

We're currently at a third of our goal and the VFF13 will happen either way November 13-17 at the Laemmle NoHo7. Still, we need your help to ensure the money raised goes towards our mission and not to pay fines. 

The deadline for raising these funds is June 30,2013, so PLEASE HELP US REACH OUR FUNDRAISING GOAL

To help, please scroll down to VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL on the Designate a Project page of our fiscal sponsor Community Partners and contribute what you can.  All donations are greatly appreciated and will be given a special shout out during the festival! Also please help us by spreading the word about this vital campaign to friends and family via all your social media outlets.

We appreciate all your love and support all these years and we look forward to bringing you a great festival in the years to come!

Tracey Adlai
Founder & Valley Girl

The Valley Film Festival is an activity of Community Partners, a nonprofit charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and which is not a private foundation because it is described in Sections 509(a)(1) and 170 (b)(1)(a)(vi).

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Just a Month to Go for Submissions

Hard to believe, but we’re already a month away from the deadline for submitting to VFF13.  Until the end of July, you can send us your short or feature-length film for $75 (US).  Then the fee rises to $100, with a final deadline of August 10.

We are seeking quality films of all kinds—narrative / fiction, documentaries, animation, music videos—that were produced independently anywhere in the world.  The films or filmmakers may have some connection to the San Fernando Valley area, although this is not required. 

The festival dates are November 13-17, 2013 at the Laemmle NoHo 7.  For more information, visit our website or Facebook page.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Independent Film Coolness: Grassroots (Kinda)

It’s cool that independent film is grassroots, though not equally for everyone.  For better and worse, there’s a lot of crossover in production, distribution, and consumption practices today, with many indie films resembling those of Hollywood, and vice versa.  Also, in addition to being a space for freer expression outside the mainstream, indie film has long been a training ground for people aspiring to Hollywood, or a refuge for those who got there and left, or, in some cases, an option for those who manage to do both. 

Here at the festival, we support people and films of all indie stripes.  Personally, I appreciate the most grassroots of filmmakers who somehow make their films their way and with the most limited resources; who aren’t connected and won’t get traditional distribution, and are OK with it.  God bless those occasional filmmakers who come to our Q&A sessions after screening their films and say they aren’t in the biz and don’t want to be.  That’s honesty. 

I can’t speak with the authority of a struggling grassroots filmmaker, but I tend to think that the lack of resources can be a good thing, promoting creativity.  The lack of money, time, and experience certainly hinders the production of a film, and its potential quality, but also can help.  Limits can be opportunities, and less can be more—you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot to make something that reaches people.  Amanda Todd’s video about social media and bullying, seen by millions on YouTube, is just one example.

Another great grassroots indie story is The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Original, provocative, low-budget—and that’s just the film.  Even more grassroots was how audiences used it for years to create their own carnivalesque floorshows in second-run theaters around the country.  With their various homemade costumes, props, vocals, and dancing these audiences created parallel productions right there, partly spontaneous and partly ritualistic, inspired by the movie.  As a kid, I first saw Rocky Horror at a public community college screening in my rural hometown of Grants Pass, Oregon.  I’d heard about the floorshows, but had to wait for another time to see one.  That came a few years later, when I was applying to colleges, and traveled with a friend for the first time to Portland.  We checked out some schools, but the highlight of our trip was seeing Rocky Horror with its people.  Still later, in the West Village, the NYC audience lived up to even higher expectations.  Now, with multiplexes and home viewing so prevalent, these shows are pretty much history. 

Kinda.  When I visited Grants Pass recently, I found that the old downtown movie theater where I first saw Jaws and Star Wars has switched to live events, including midnight screenings of Rocky Horror with the floorshow.  Rednecks in drag?  That’s a time warp I’d like to see.


This post is part of a series in which I talk about independent film in a more detailed, wide-ranging, and personal way than I usually do here.  And it’s a chance to hear from you.  Feel free to post a comment anytime or let me know if you’d like to write a post.

For more on The Valley Film Festival, visit our website or Facebook page.