Monday, September 18, 2017

The Valley Film Festival Expands Programming Into West Valley w/October 7th Screening

Contributed by Georgia Menides

When we say, The Valley Film Festival, we mean THE WHOLE DARN VALLEY

For the past 17 years, The Valley Film Festival has produced annual independent
cinexplosions at the Laemmle NoHo 7 with adjunct programs and parties running all the way up and down “the Lankershim strip” in the NoHo Arts District. VFF continues to hold court as the largest and longest running film festival in the San Fernando Valley, bringing in about 12K total foot traffic each year.

Yes, Laemmle NoHo 7 is in The Valley.  But the name, “The Valley Film Festival” refers to a lot more than just our venue’s location. The name is reflective of our targeted- to-Valley-folk programming. We primarily focus on films with concrete production or cast ties to the (818). Or we program foreign films that speak to the specific cultural needs of The Valley’s strongest international demographics.  In short, we are of, from, and all about The Valley.

As traditional movie theatre audiences continue to decline, more and more theatres are willing to take a chance on a film festival in efforts to raise revenue. The result has been a propagation of small festivals popping up all over The Valley and in the world at large. So how can The Valley Film Festival continue to differentiate itself from the herd when every day it seems like someone else in the (818) is starting yet another festival?

I spoke to VFF’s new co-producer, David Kraus to learn more about his efforts to expand the presence, financials, and outreach for VFF, making sure that filmmakers, distributors, and audiences know that we represent the whole valley.

David Krouse - “2017 has been a ground-breaking year for the festival. We’ve grown in every direction; expanded programming, venue additions, partnerships with online and broadcast tv stations, sponsors, staff, and social media. We are also growing our distribution wing. Next year we will be hosting a film market to help connect hundreds of local filmmakers with the companies who acquire content.

My overarching vision for VFF is to become THE Valley Film Festival – as the single most important annual cultural  event in the San Fernando Valley, from the West Hills to Burbank. To achieve these visions, we needed to expand.”

The focus has been on evolving our programming to now host year-round community screenings, parties, events, and panels on every aspect on filmmaking. We are now able to offer exhibition to a wider range of filmmakers, branching into episodic and VR media. Additionally, now we have an opportunity to import more international cinema into The Valley. Our international community deserve a chance to see films on screen in their own language. The more we can provide, the better.

DK - “One of my first thoughts for a screening venue (far away from North Hollywood) was the elegant but cozy 75 seat theatre and spacious reception area at Columbia College Hollywood in Tarzana. I approached the film school about partnering with us and are so excited to have them in board. So far, it’s been a perfect fit and we have already hosted 3 crowded, successful panels.”

The Valley Film Festival’s first Community Screening will be on Saturday October 7th with a “real talk” discussion about the highs and lows of mumblecore (microbudget filmmaking). 
Both the dramatic feature, “Jack and Cocaine” and comedic short “Rock This” were produced for barely any money. But neither filmmaker let money get in the way of realizing their dreams.  Even the most successful filmmaker usually started out, at some point, with an idea, a camera, and few friends in a frenzy of passion, cheap and fast, on a mission to just get the story out.  

The Valley Film Festival is so excited about this screening. We feel it will inspire artists and non-artists alike to take a crack at this art form that, thanks to today’s technology, is no longer just for the rich and connected.

I'll have more to say about our expansion as it continues to unfold. But for now, just remember, when we say, "Valley Film Festival," yes, we mean the whole darn Valley!! 

Saturday, October 7, 2:30pm
@ Columbia College Hollywood (Tarzana)
18618 Oxnard Street, Tarzana, CA 91356

The 17th Annual Valley Film Festival runs October 25-29, 2017 @ Laemmle NoHo7.