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Long Live AFFD!


by Julie Hwang 7 Jul 2009

Guest blogger Julie Hwang is Community Relations Director for the Asian Film Festival of Dallas Organizing a film festival is not for the faint of heart. For a full and accurate account of the various challenges and hardships that come with festival organizing, kindly refer to So You Want to Start a Film Festival…Don’t. This […]

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longliveaffd1

Guest blogger Julie Hwang is Community Relations Director for the Asian Film Festival of Dallas

Organizing a film festival is not for the faint of heart. For a full
and accurate account of the various challenges and hardships that come
with festival organizing, kindly refer to So You Want to Start a Film
Festival…Don’t
.

This year’s AFFD has definitely not been easy to pull together.  An
extremely tough economy, departing friends and the increased demands
of the daily jobs of our completely volunteer staff have made for
some extremely stressful moments. Only today, I received a greeting
from a fellow festival organizer in Austin – “Enjoy your migraines and
your mini-heart attacks.”

In these final 10 days before the start of our 8th annual festival,
our exhausted AFFD crew are mainly trying to tell everyone we know to
come to the festival. Please. One of things keeping us really going is
the note above. We received it about a month ago in the mail, from
an old AFFD friend named Joel, who has been attending the fest since
the very beginning. Joel sent the note with a check for his usual VIP
pass.  It was an unexpected surprise, and it put a big smile on all
our faces and gave us that extra push we needed to close our
programming, wrest our films from the hands of distributors and other
festivals around the world, finish the program book, launch the
Web site, and continue to finish – in our “free time” – the multitude of
tasks necessary to get the festival up and running on July 17. Even in
these tough times, we’ve managed to come up with our most packed
schedule in years, and we’re quite proud of it. Thanks, Joel, for
helping us get there, and we hope you have another great year with us.

By the way, the author of the article above, Grady Hendrix, is still
putting on festivals four years after he wrote the article. I last saw
him introducing Japanese director Takashi Miike to a large room full
of cheering fans in New York. I’m sure he was still worried about
costs and attendance, but he was having a fabulous time, and so was
everyone else in the packed room.

Grady hasn’t smartened up and given up the festival life, and neither
will we.  Long Live AFFD!

P.S. This year, it cost about $350 to Fedex the Hansel and Gretel
print from Seou l… and we have to ship it Melbourne right after the
AFFD screening.

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