Santa Claus Comes to Town and KIDS FIRST! attends the 5th International Film Festival Summit

iffs.jpgSanta Claus made an appearance at the screening of Finn on the Fly and gave away Eloise: Little Miss Christmas, Thomas and Friends: Ultimate Christmas and The Happy Elf to all the kids attending. They also received Wubbzy stickers and toys at the Santa Fe Film Festival, Saturday, December 6th.
The 5th Annual IFFS has held in Las Vegas this week. Both Ranny Levy and Ann Church from KIDS FIRST! attended the summit that started Sunday, December 7th. Ranny participated on a panel discussion regarding year around programming. This is an important summit for film festivals to attend as it is truly the only networking location for festival people. I was able to finally meet many of the festival directors that we have worked with over a number of years, including Denver, Ashland, Oxford, Atlanta and made some incredible contacts interested in children’s programming.
Many of the events addressed and were moderated by the large festivals, Sundance, Tribeca and Telluride, but the small breakout sessions were the gems of the summit. Additionally, afternoon gatherings allowed for easy interaction between the attendees and sponsors, B-Side, Without a Box and IMDb. The summit ran a full 2 ½ days and one way to determine the success is that on the final afternoon, the room was still full and the conversations still interesting.
As with many young festivals, there is still much that can be added to help the small to mid size festivals.  This year’s hot topic seemed to be about film distribution and the economy, with some sessions designed to help with budgeting and board retention. I suggest that if you are a festival director or programming, this should be on your radar for next year.

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