Brattleboro Film Festival makes plans for 2013 edition

BRATTLEBORO — Organizers say that the inaugural edition of the Brattleboro Film Festival (BFF) was a reel success.

Approximately 1,000 turned out for 12 films and various special events Nov. 2-4, and Nov. 8, 2012, at the historic Latchis Theatre in downtown Brattleboro.

Plans for an expanded festival to begin in early November 2013 are under way, organizers said.

Some shows sold out, including the repeat showing of “Best in Fest” winner “Chasing Ice,” which, along with another BFF selection, “Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry,” is on the short list for Academy Award nominations for best documentary.

“The positive response to this initial festival is a testimony to the hunger for more cutting-edge films in our region,” said BFF President Merry Elder, who worked for 21 years on film selection for Brattleboro's Women's Film Festival. “We have the beginning of the seed money to get the ball rolling for 2013, and the chance to actually start fulfilling our mission to start sharing profits with others doing important work in the community.”

BFF announced in 2012 it planned to donate $100 each to the following organizations, a modest but meaningful commitment that will grow along with the festival in the years to come:

• Latchis Arts, to help the Latchis Theatre get new seats and fulfill its role as a cornerstone cultural treasure of a vital, creative town.

• Youth Services, to help young people in the community as part of BFF's commitment to make great films and educational events available to area youth who need it most.

• Freedom & Unity: The Vermont Movie Project, to underscore BFF's commitment to supporting local filmmakers.

BFF incorporated in November 2012 and is applying for non-profit status as an arts organization with a social-good bent. The Windham Arts Council will act as BFF's fiscal sponsor to allow it to raise tax-deductible funds while it awaits its own non-profit designation. BFF is volunteer-run and plans to expand practical internship experiences and its volunteer base over the next several years.

The BFF steering committee is led by Merry Elder, Lissa Weinmann, Jaki Reis, Kevin Burke, Gail Haines, and Diane LaVerdi. BFF Advisory Council members, and volunteer and internship opportunities, and other useful information, are listed at BFF is also on Twitter and Facebook.

Feedback is welcomed for planning a full 2013 roster of great films and events that speak to the unique spirit and character of Brattleboro.

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