Film festival blues

Last night was the Opening Night Gala for the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, enjoying its 26th consecutive year in the Twin Cities. I didn’t make it to the Gala, which was hosted at Bellanotte, and featured performers from the Secret Circus. Tickets to attend were very affordable at 10 dollars, or free with a festival pass. I thought seriously about going, so I could have a more objective viewpoint about the event and the festival. But I’m still angry at the parent organization, Minnesota Film Arts for the mismanagement that’s been going on for the past years, which has led to fewer films playing at the soon-to-be-history Oak Street and the cancellation of the annual GLBT Film Festival. I still say that their argument that there wasn’t enough community interest to support a GLBT Film Festival is disingenuous at best. We have one of the largest Gay Pride celebrations in the nation each year, and a huge arts-loving and film-going community. There’s got to be an intersection there. You can blame the audience for not showing up only so much before you have to turn the spotlight back on the organization and say, “What are we doing wrong in our advertising and promotions?”

I may or may not go see some of the films this year, but it’s hard for me to get excited about the festival when it’s run by MFA. Al Milgrom, who’s been involved since it started, does a great job, but the board of directors for non-profit MFA certainly haven’t made it easy for him.

If anyone made it to the Opening Night Gala, let us know how it went, and I’d love to hear more experiences from people attending the films as well.

1 Comment so far

  1. barrykryshka on April 18th, 2008 @ 7:47 pm

    They’re most likely referring to the same lack of community interest that raised $50,000 in pledges to keep Oak Street running, but the MFA board took a pass, preferring to shut down the Oak.

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