Editorial: Middlebury film festival is sowing the seeds of a town-wide event
Well done, Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival! You took the kernel of an idea, sought community support, built a terrific team and, with flair, imagination, hard work and know-how you created an inaugural film festival that exceeded expectations.
Much of the praise goes to festival director Lloyd Komesar. He’s the dynamo with the tireless energy who hatched the idea, did the community outreach and then pulled the trigger. A born salesman whose passion is contagious, Lloyd was the fire in the engine that drove the festival to its first-year success.
There were many others, of course. Lloyd noted dozens of participants in his opening night comments without whom the endeavor, he said, would not have been possible: Staffers Phoebe Lewis and Kyla Jarrett were critical to the day-to-day activities throughout the crucial summer months; artistic director Jay Craven provided his immense knowledge, talent and time; there were numerous panelists and moderators, supporters and sponsors; and there was the critical support of the venues at the Town Hall Theater, the downtown Marquis Theater and Middlebury College’s Dana Auditorium and meeting rooms. The business community gave and gave, from sponsorships to discounted meals and beverages, hosting cocktail parties, and even Foster Motors providing vans to transport festival-goers from one venue to the next if the walk was too long.
Those are the seeds of a community-wide event, which can make the festival much bigger and better as the sum of the community’s many parts. Plans are already underway for next year’s event. To make it even more successful, financially and in terms of drawing crowds to the films next year, there’s one critical thing you can do between now and next summer: just say “yes” when asked to do whatever part you can.
Angelo S. Lynn