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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Who are the critics speaking to?
Nobody seems able to answer the question of how you can make theatre criticism more appealing, more clickworthy. One answer is to be a goddamn flamethrower every week, be a bombthrower, to write scorched-earth reviews. Just be completely hedonistic and ego-driven in your criticism, become a master stylist, and treat everything in front of you onstage as fodder for your most delicious and vicious language. That’s one road. And people may enjoy your writing. The thing that’s sacrificed is any sense of a larger responsibility, and any aesthetic consistency. I don’t think anyone is following that model right now—just being a complete jerk.

Well, Rex Reed is still writing.
Ah. Well, you can also be a standard bearer, and insist that work doesn’t measure up to your high standards. But I think the art makes the standards. I’m not going to sit there and say, “This is the way you do Shakespeare.” I believe that every play establishes its own standards, and our job is to just evaluate it. But everybody’s looking for the formula for how to talk about culture so that people who don’t have any time to read want to read about it. Is there something beyond thumbs-up, thumbs-down criticism? I would hope there’s a way to talk about a theatre event in real time—meaning while it’s still going on—in a way that’s engaging, funny, witty, and evaluates the elements of the thing. But it’s like if you had a friend who was like, “Gee, are you working out? You look great. But that’s a terrible haircut.” Nobody wants that person around.
~ Time Out’s 17-Year Theatre Critic, David Cote, Upon His Exit

“Now I am awake to the world. I was asleep before. When they slaughtered Congress, we didn’t wake up. When they blamed terrorists and suspended the Constitution, we didn’t wake up either. They said it would be temporary. Nothing changes instantaneously. In a gradually heating bathtub you’d be boiled to death before you knew it.”
“The Handmaid’s Tale,” Bruce Miller