The KanzaFest Blog

   
February 13, 2009

Kanza Fest 2009

Good news and bad news

This note has good and bad in it - the good news - the deadline to enter your films in the KanzaFest 2009 is now June 30th (giving you plenty of time to get those last edits done and re-shoot that one scene you just didn't think was right), the bad news - for 2009 we will not be hosting an actual festival day.

Just to be clear: there has been a change in plans for 2009 - the KanzaFest 2009 film awards and contest WILL GO ON EXACTLY AS PLANNED with the deadline for film entries extended to June 30, 2009.

We will NOT however, host the actual festival day - that was originally planned for April 4.

The why is simple - due to numerous delays beyond our control - we have not received our non-profit status and we have found out in the past week that it will be at least another 90 days or more before we will be able to complete this critical step for the Kanza Film Festival. With this new knowledge - we will miss a full year of grant deadlines we had hoped to participate in. This brought us to make a hard decision - on hosting an actual festival in 2009. It was not an easy decision but with the problems this new knowledge of the additional time (not counting the past 180 additional days already past when we anticipated completion the non-profit application process) meant something had to give if we wanted to be able to achieve our vision of what the Kanza Fest can become. We even faced the consideration of eliminating the 2009 contest but that was a step we were not willing to make.

We hope you understand - the delays we have faced have made proper promotion and marketing of the festival difficult. Any startup organization faced difficulties, but the delays of the past two years have seriously hampered the pace of expansion of the festival and actually have caused us to limit plans we had already put in motion. We have carefully considered how we can best make up for lost time once the IRS completes the review and approval process, and that meant, something had to go - for 2009 that meant the festival day itself. We hope to add opportunities to invite you, the filmmakers, to an open viewing with audiences(s) in the future. But for now we are continuing to move ahead with plans for production of the Best of the Kanza DVD (see more on this here very soon) and to get back to our prior anticipated schedule. As soon as we (finally) get word back from the IRS, get our official status settled, and then are able to meet our generous funders needs, we will get back to growing the Kanza as anticipated. So here is hoping for a better economy, quick work and a helpful IRS review agent, and great films from you!

Thanks for your patience - I look forward to seeing your great films soon.

Chris Taylor-co-director of the Kanza

February 5, 2009

Kanza Fest 2009

& Smithsonian bragging rights

We have been a bit bogged down in getting the IRS to complete review of our application to become an official non-profit organization this year and we are still waiting, so some things we hoped to bring to the Kanza Fest 3rd Annual Film Festival world will have to wait a little longer, but we do have one really cool new category.

Journey Stories, will allow you to compete for not only a great story-telling category, some additional scholarship money and the chance to get your film seen by more people, but you have the chance to have your film be part of a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit through 2009 and 2010 across the state of Kansas. This Smithsonian is THE preeminent museum name in the US and one of the most respected names in a lot of fields - as part of bringing this exhibit to Atchison, Kansas we wanted to find a way to make this exhibit special in additional ways.

If you haven't read the details on the exhibit yet, I'll clue you in - it is about the Journey, the transportation we use(d), the people who made and still make the US great and to boil it down to just a few words the theme of the exhibit and the films we hope you will submit this year and next is: The Stories of How We Got Here!

Your film version of that theme may be a documentary on the Native Americans, the communities formed as American grew West, your own family story of how YOU wound up where you are today - both geographically and otherwise. Your film can also be a work of fiction that addresses the idea of moving on, breeching new frontiers, what the future will be like or could have been like if things turned out differently. It's a pretty wide open category and a lot of the films from the first two years of the Kanza could have been an entry - so we are encouraging you the filmmakers of American to take the challenge and send in your films (you still get to compete in your regular film category - but you get the chance to win this special award as well).

And just think if your film is chosen this year or next - you could be part of a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit - that would look good on your film school resume!

If you have questions - please email them and I'll try to answer them as quickly as possible. Send your ideas and thoughts of the Kanza - we want to keep making this better and better each year .

Click here to go to the Smithsonian Institution Museum on Main Street website to read about the Journey Stories exhibit.

Click here to go to the Kansas Humanities Council website (they are the state sponsor for the Kansas tour of Journey Stories) to find out more and see the exhibit schedule and the sites in Kansas the exhibit will tour.

Chris Taylor-co-director of The Kanza

April 05, 2008

Kanza Fest 2008

The films are in for this year, and I have to say, what I have seen so far is extraordinary. We had some great films in 2007 and we have some, well...they may be even better this year. In just two years we have had some fantastic entries and now it's again time to share these filmmaker's visions.

Because of some of our generous sponsors, advance tickets will be FREE for 2008 - all you have to do is ask! One of goals of the Board of the Kanza Film Festival for this year was to build an audience for the festival - we want to have a full house Saturday night - and we started talking about how to do that. People have so many options today - it is sometimes hard to break through the noise of daily life even when you have a great product, like all the great films we have set to roll Saturday night.

We started the regular promotion machine, and then in talking with some of our sponsors we found they were willing to help us out with advertising and the exchange of tickets for that support came about. So if you want to come out and see some great films - stop by the Exchange National Bank in Atchison and ask for your FREE tickets, or stop by the Atchison Santa Fe Depot, 200 S. 10th Street in Atchison (home of the Atchison County Historical Society Museum and the Atchison Area Chamber of Commerce) come to the Visitors Center desk and ask for your FREE tickets, or call Theatre Atchison (especially if you are a member or season ticket holder already) at 367-1647, or listen to KAIR Radio - they will be giving out tickets to listeners this week as well.

If you don't get advance tickets the cost will be a reasonable $4 at the door, unless you are one of the filmmakers & guests - then just ask at box office to pick up you filmmaker passes.

Hope to see you there - and even if you get free tickets - if you like what you see - you may make a donation toward the 2009 Kanza or the upcoming Movie Camp USA this summer. By later this year we will be out own 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and it is support from people who value the work we are doing to promote independent films and support aspiring filmmakers that will allow us to grow The Kanza into bigger and better things.

See you at the film festival.

Chris Taylor-co-director of The Kanza

Jan. 28, 2008
It's time for take two

The Kanza is getting ready for its second year and we are looking for this little film festival to grow into even bigger and better things - because of you - the filmmakers who entered in 2007 and those of you who are getting your films ready for this year (check out the entry forms for full details). The entry deadline will be Tuesday, April 1, 2008 to have your film in our hands. Some of you have been looking for details and I apologize for the only now getting all the info out and up on our new website. We have made a lot of changes since last year and even though the film festival will be similar to that of 2007, there has been a lot of progress made since our first try at this film festival thing last year. Thanks to a generous grant from the Kansas Arts Commission we are on the way to becoming a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation - for those of you who aren't sure what that means - we will be able to grow, add more programs, be able to concentrate of the heart of what The Kanza is about - because now those agencies that support film can now officially contribute and make this the best film festival for aspiring filmmakers in the Midwest.

What is the difference between The Kanza and other film festivals? The goal of the Kanza is to give student and other aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to generate some income from their efforts. Your entry may be chosen for the "Best of the Kanza" DVD, or be part of the Kanza Road Show that will take the best films across the state to different communities and local television and cable outlets are interested in your best work as well. As we grow The Kanza will offer scholarships to help you make your movies, give you an outlet to get your film shown and get your name out across the region and you can get paid. A portion of each DVD sale, each person who pays for a seat at the road show and other opportunities will go to the filmmaker - YOU.

We want to get scholarships to you to make your movies and be a resource for movie makers in Kansas and beyond. We are starting off aiming at Kansas filmmakers but we also want to reach out to neighboring states in the Midwest . If you don't live in the Midwest and can't make it to The Kanza you can still enter and you have just as good a chance at winning. Last year we had entries from as far away as Canada and California and the grand prize winner was from California, but the Kansas entries captured most of the first place spots (nudge to you Missouri filmmakers).

So here we are gearing up for year two and beyond - now we need you to submit your films. I can't wait, the films that came in last year were above our expectations and I'm sure those of you reading this will not let us down in 2008.

Chris Taylor - co-director of The Kanza

   

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