Mount Shasta International Film Festival Comes To An End
By Jeffrey Winters
After five wonderful years, the Mount Shasta International Film Festival is closing down. Like so many other worthy endeavors and events, the Festival was hit hard by these difficult economic times.
As many of you know, the Festival took a hiatus last year to try and raise start up funds for 2010. We asked for help from the community to match a Technical Assistance grant. You all came through! With your support we were able to hire a professional fundraising team. Unfortunately, the Festival was not awarded a single grant. Word back from foundations and corporations was that no new funding was being given out and even existing donations were being scaled back.
We also organized several local fundraisers. We held our annul Film Under the Stars ("Toy Story"), showed a very special documentary entitled "Peace Through Music" and followed up with the funny "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles". These were all successful events, but simply did not produce the revenue needed to launch a 2010 Festival.
And so, it is with sadness that we end our five year run. But it is also with a great sense of pride for all we accomplished. When I moved to Mount Shasta in 2004, the Festival was just a dream. I had an idea which excited many of us in the community. It started as a one man show and evolved into a 501(c)(3) non profit. My hope and our goal and mission was to bring culture and business to Siskiyou County. I can say with confidence that we did just that.
Over the years we showed many innovative, creative and inspirational movies from around the world (see our website for an archived list of all feature films, documentaries, and shorts). We chose and showed films that made you think, laugh, and cry. We offered free family movies to the community, free professional filmmakers seminars, and free events for students at the College of the Siskiyous. We reached out to the far corners of Siskiyou County by partnering with the Family Resource Centers to invite low income families to the Festival for free. We offered free tickets to our elders in the community, to Hospice workers, and to Veterans.
The Festival brought business to Siskiyou County during the "shoulder" time of the year - between our summer and winter tourist seasons. Local merchants were proud supporters of the Festival and saw their business increase each year during the three day Festival.
All this would never have been possible without the enthusiastic support and hard work contributed by so many. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for making this dream a reality My thanks to all past and present Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, sponsors, and donors. My thanks to the community for the excitement and joy you brought to all our events, our Gala parties, and our Festivals. Ours was a Festival filled with love and caring. Thank you for five years. A Big thank you!