What sets your festival apart from other festivals?
Our festival, film screenings and workshops are free to attend. We’re in the midst of a National Forest, we’re international, we’re all about the filmmakers making films start to finish.
One of your screening locations, the Allegheny Outfitters looks absolutely spectacular. Can you tell us more about your experience there?
Allegheny Outfitters is indeed a spectacular screening venue. Chosen for a variety of reasons but mainly because they get things done. The put multiple 1000’s of folks on the waterways of our area every year. We’re planning a canoe to screening as well as the in store screenings. Allegheny Outfitters has been a screening venue for us since our beginning in 2011. A small but welcoming alternative screening venue it works well for all involved as it attracts not only customers but and the curious but it’s also appealing to the festival attendees who find an attraction to the filmscreening and the venue itself. Every one of our venues has its own story much like the films they screen. We can and do screen any film there but we also are on the lookout for good matches for our venues. We’ve been fortunate to find some like minded quality films for varied venues.
Is there something in particular that you look for in submissions? Or are there multiple factors?
Independent film is our focused interest. We like films from local, regional, national and international filmmakers. The films can be shorts or features and from nearly any genre. We look for films that have screened at major festival because just like films from any size festival, they don’t get seem by enough people, so attendees to our fest are able to see quality films from Sundance, Rotterdam, SXSW and other bigger festivals a bit closer to home. Also outdoor related films are of great interest and we have films in competition and in exhibition which allow some flexibility to what we screen.
What is your goal for your festival ?
Aside for our mission and vision for The Boonies International Film Festival I think our most important goal is to stay alive and fresh. We want to adapt to the constant and changing needs of filmmakers to better serve them and their industry. Really we just want to present quality independent films often.
Do you have an interesting story that has taken place during a past festival?
An interesting story. Sure, every fest better have a few good ones and a few bad one to tell or something’s not right. But I’d have to say most of them had to do with where the festival is, we’re a drive to location and our tag line is we’re “Just Up the Road” and in that there can be a lot of adventure. For most the drive here is breath taking. Because we are in the middle of woods you must travel through a forested area to get here. Once here you can canoe, camp, hike, bike, swim, and general do all things outdoors. Traveler are truly shocked at being literally surrounded by a forest. International travelers have loved the camping and rustic environment while still having cell power.
How is your festival received locally?
Shock, awe, head scratching and acceptance. Some residents probably don’t know we exist, others take part, some attend and I imagine some just stay away. We do have a very good relationship with our community businesses, sponsors, volunteers and supporters.
Where do you see or would like to see your Festival in 5 years?
Alive and providing more education and opportunities for filmmakers and continuing to screen quality films to more people.