By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Film Festival Alliance Sets New Leadership

Dallas, TX (April 20, 2017) – Following a successful fourth annual conference in conjunction with the Art House Convergence in January, the Film Festival Alliance (FFA) has officially announced a newly elected Board of Directors, building on FFA’s established foundation to become North America’s preeminent film festival service organization, strengthening this vital segment of the film exhibition industry, and providing even more robust resources to help mission-driven film festivals meet their community needs.

The newly elected Board of Directors includes President Dan Brawley (Cucalorus Film Festival), Vice President Andrew Rodgers (Denver Film Society), Treasurer Anne Chaisson  (Hamptons International Film Festival and FFA founding member), Secretary Judy Laster (Woods Hole Film Festival, FFA founding member) and Jon Gann (Founder DC Shorts Film Festival, Past Program Director, FFA.)

Members at large include Beth Barrett (SIFF), Clint Bowie (New Orleans Film Society), Mark Fishkin (Califiornia Film Institute) and Josh Leake (Portland Film Festival.)

FFA has hired Lela Meadow-Conner (Tallgrass Film Association) to serve in a consulting role as the Acting Executive Director. A founder of Wichita’s Tallgrass Film Festival, its former Executive Director, and current Creative Director, she brings her entrepreneurial spirit and love of film festivals to the FFA. The alliance’s founding members created a strong framework and the group is committed to constructing a productive and valuable organization for all film festival folks. “It’s important to us that we are an inclusive group for all film festival professionals and that we recognize our common threads, and appreciate those characteristics that make every festival unique,” said Meadow-Conner.

“Along with developing the best programming for our fifth annual conference in January, 2018, we’ll be focusing on learning from our members how best we can help service our industry and advocate for film festivals of all sizes and genres across the country,” said Brawley.

Film festival professionals may join as an individual member or as an organization. For membership information, go to: www.filmfestivalalliance.org.

ABOUT FILM FESTIVAL ALLIANCE
Originally founded in 2010 as a program of IFP, FFA was established in 2015 as an independent non-profit organization to develop and foster collaboration among mission-driven film festivals around the world and create a sustainable professional environment for the presentation of film and media programs. Through integrity, collaboration, courage, inclusion and creativity, FFA champions the vital role of film festivals, filmmakers and cinema culture in the 21st Century and beyond. Founding festivals include Sundance Institute, Full Frame Documentary Institute, SXSW and Milwaukee Film.

Contact:
Dan Brawley, President
dan@cucalorus.org

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“I suddenly couldn’t say anything about some of the movies. They were just so terrible, and I’d already written about so many terrible movies. I love writing about movies when I can discover something in them – when I can get something out of them that I can share with people. The week I quit, I hadn’t planned on it. But I wrote up a couple of movies, and I read what I’d written, and it was just incredibly depressing. I thought, I’ve got nothing to share from this. One of them was of that movie with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, Scenes From a Mall. I couldn’t write another bad review of Bette Midler. I thought she was so brilliant, and when I saw her in that terrible production of ‘Gypsy’ on television, my heart sank. And I’d already panned her in Beaches. How can you go on panning people in picture after picture when you know they were great just a few years before? You have so much emotional investment in praising people that when you have to pan the same people a few years later, it tears your spirits apart.”
~ Pauline Kael On Quitting

“My father was a Jerome. My daughter’s middle name is Jerome. But my most vexing and vexed relationship with a Jerome was with Jerome Levitch, the subject of my first book under his stage and screen name, Jerry Lewis.

I have a lot of strong and complex feelings about the man, who passed away today in Las Vegas at age 91. Suffice to say he was a brilliant talent, an immense humanitarian, a difficult boss/interview, and a quixotic sort of genius, as often inspired as insipid, as often tender as caustic.

I wrote all about it in my 1996 book, “King of Comedy,” which is available on Kindle. With all due humility, it’s kinda definitive — the good and the bad — even though it’s two decades old. My favorite review, and one I begged St. Martin’s (unsuccessfully) to put on the paperback jacket, came from “Screw” magazine, which called it “A remarkably fair portrait of a great American asshole.”

Jerry and I met twice while I was working on the book and spoke/wrote to each other perhaps a dozen times. Like many of his relationships with the press and his partners/subordinates, it ended badly, with Jerry hollering profanities at me in the cabin of his yacht in San Diego. I wrote about it in the epilogue to my book, and over the years I’ve had the scene quoted back to me by Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. Tom Hanks once told me that he had a dinner with Paul Reiser and Martin Short at which Short spent the night imitating Jerry throwing me off the boat.

Jerry was a lot of things: father, husband, chum, businessman, philanthropist, artist, innovator, clown, tyrant. He was at various times in his life the highest-ever-paid performer on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. He raised BILLIONS for charity, invented filmmaking techniques, made perhaps a dozen classic comedies, turned in a terrific dramatic performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and left the world altered and even enhanced with his time and his work in it.

That’s an estimable achievement and one worth pausing to commemorate.

#RIP to Le Roi du Crazy

~ Biographer Shawn Levy on Jerry Lewis on Facebook