Art House Convergence opened it’s 11th annual gathering of cinema and festival professionals, community leaders, service providers, and suppliers from around the world with a record breaking 630 attendees at the Zermatt and Homestead Resorts in Midway, Utah today.
Marking the 5th conference in conjunction with the Film Festival Alliance (FFA), the ever-growing event was sold out more than a month in advance of the conference for the first time in its history, and will feature over 130 delegates associated with film festivals across North America, 80 sponsors, including more than 50 film distributors and over 30 vendors.
Keynotes at this year’s Art House Convergence will be delivered by the distinguished trio of University of Michigan Professor and National Council on the Arts Obama Appointee Aaron Dworkin, Firelight Media President and Co-Founder Marcia Smith, and Sony Pictures Classics Co-President and Co-Founder Michael Barker.
One of those topics on the minds of many will be squarely addressed by this year’s panel, “Harassment and Intimidation Have No Place in the Art House.” Moderated by Seed & Spark’s Emily Best, and spearheaded by experts in the legal and communication fields; Janet Grumer (Partner in the Employment Law Department at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP), and Jacqueline Strayer (Landmark Theatres and Mann Theatres), the panel will feature a key case study with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Founder and CEO Tim League and Director of Family and Community Engagement Amy Averett will join the panel in a candid conversation to share their experience as they have dealt with upsetting revelations over the course of the past year and have worked to address issues of harassment and intimidation within their organization, including their initial mishandling of those issues.
Aggressively approaching these and similar issues facing the attendees in these times, Art House Convergence will feature multiple panels and organized “deep dive” discussions throughout the four-day conference built around how to send art house and film festival delegates home with actionable items to handle issues of equity, diversity, and harassment in their own communities and organizations.
Other panel programming highlights include:
- “Building A Future: developing a Love of Cinema Amongst Children”
- “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf – how festivals manage to screen films available on VOD with runaway sales and success”
- “What do Festivals Need For The Future” –featuring the first-ever US focus group with the UK’s Independent Cinema Office.
- This will be the first Art House Conference with Film Festival Alliance’s current Board of Directors, including; President Dan Brawley (Cucalorus Film Festival), Vice President Andrew Rodgers (Denver Film Society), Treasurer Anne Chaisson (Hamptons International Film Festival and FFA founding member) and Secretary Judy Laster (Woods Hole Film Festival, FFA founding member),
- Members at large include Beth Barrett (SIFF), Clint Bowie (New Orleans Film Society), Mark Fishkin (California Film Institute) and Jon Gann (Founder DC Shorts Film Festival, FFA Conference Programmer and Founding Member). Lela Meadow-Conner (Bentonville Film Festival) serves as the Acting Executive Director.
The largest annual gathering of its kind, Art House Convergence and Film Festival Alliance work to define the field of art house film exhibition and the film festival world, creating a shared vision and vocabulary, and identifying best practices. The goal being to engage art house theaters, film festivals, film societies, museums, and other exhibition-oriented organizations through a variety of topics.