Recently Fort Worth, TX film buffs got great news – The Lone Star Film Society and Fort Worth Sister Cities International will present the Lone Star International Film Festival next year.
“It’s long overdue,” said Christopher Kelly, a local writer who covers the cultural scene. “But organizers need to avoid the many pitfalls associated with pulling off these events.”
Kelly recommends that organizers start small and expand gradually.
The Fort Worth Film Festival started back in 1988 with lots of promise but uneven execution, said Kelly.
“The Lone Star International Film Festival should be careful to avoid the same mistakes,” he said. “They should also keep the focus on the art.”
Kelly said that the biggest mistake struggling festivals make is focusing on the celebrities and glamour.
Organizers plan on kicking off the festival during the Mayor’s International Dinner.
“They should carve out their own identity,” explain Kelly. “There are already plenty of film festivals throughout the Metroplex, and the best ones tend to target a specific audience and deliver works expressly suited to them.”
Kelly stated that The Lone Star International Film Festival, to be held Nov. 8-11, 2007 needs to find a way to stand apart from these other events.
“They should also spend their money wisely,” he added. “Festival organizers say the budget for the inaugural event will be just shy of $500,000.”
The Lone Star Film Society started in 1996 with a goal of preserving the culture of the moving picture.
The Lone Star International Film Festival will give exposure to filmmakers and provide the latest in cutting edge technology according to a press release. One rep said that with the global contacts available the possibilities are endless.
International Film Festival consultants include Caroline Libresco, a producer and senior film programmer for the Sundance Film Festival where she manages the World Cinema Program and David Mallette, creator of ArtStrategies, a consulting firm focusing on the needs of nonprofits. He has worked with large performing arts companies, festivals, service organizations, and foundations. Jon Fitzgerald also serves as a consultant and is artistic director of Right Angle Studios, having over 14 years experience in studio, independent, and film festival communities. In May 2002 Fitzgerald became the executive director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and was responsible for overseeing the programming, sponsorship, marketing, and artistic direction. Prior to accepting his current position he was invited back to the University of California at Santa Barbara as a visiting instructor in the Film Studies Department.
From 1997-1999 Fitzgerald served as director of festivals at the American Film Institute.