Fest financing is hand-to-mouth,” says fest vet Christian Gaines, now director of festivals for the web resource Withoutabox. “While you have to appear optimistic and forward-thinking, the thought of raising money keeps you up at night. It’s completely unpredictable.”
Gaines warns that the financial crisis could shake other smaller events out of the crowded fest calendar entirely, a notion echoed by event overseers.
Yet the picture overseas seems entirely rosier:
Sponsors continue to see film fests as a great value for their money across Eastern Europe, where there is little sign of an economic downturn so far. And a slew of upcoming fests in Europe and the Mideast actually boast, in some cases, stronger-than-usual commercial support.