Last Thursday, the MARC (“a non profit organization that helps people with disabilities to live full enriching lives”, according to their website) of Manchester hosted a fundraiser event for the first annual Silk City Flick Fest, set to take place October 8- 11. I decided to go, wondering if there was really any interest in bringing a film festival to Manchester, the land of malls, big box stores, and slowly closing chain restaurants? After leaving the event, I can safely say: Umm…sure, there’s some interest! I wouldn’t expect Robert Redford to show up, though. Maybe, if you’re lucky, Tara Reid will put in an appearance.
Upon entering the MARC facility I was greeted by six dressed up volunteers, who were handing out programs that listed the events for the evening. It said a bunch of stuff, but mostly I noticed that food and drinks were available free of charge thanks to a few local sponsors. There were a number of different raffle prizes you could enter to win, ranging from restaurant gift certificates to 50/50 drawings. There were also film fest T-shirts and artists’ paintings for sale with 10% of proceeds going to MARC.
The event attracted a number of different kinds of people. It was pretty easy to tell who the filmmakers were. They were the awkward looking guys, spending most of the time looking around the room for possible actors. Some geriatrics who seemed to be there for the “art”of it all helped fill out the crowd.
There might have been a hundred or so people in attendance. Most notable was Mayor Spadaccini of Manchester who was incredibly excited by the idea of a film fest in his town. The Mayor described Manchester as a “cultural hub” east of the river. Manchester is a cultural hub for the arts? Really? The only “art” I know about in Manchester is the movie theater. But according to Mr. Mayor, there’s a lot more to Manchester than the Shoppes at Buckland Hills and Wal-Mart. (Of course, he’s right; there’s also a Red Robin.)
Spadaccini also proclaimed that if any of the filmmakers could get a celebrity to appear at the film fest, he would personally pick hime or her up from the airport and drive them to the fest. It’s a nice offer, but I’ll probably end up driving myself.
Time will tell if the Silk City Flick Fest will be worth the price of admission. But come the weekend of Oct. 8, we’ll see if the fundraising efforts were worth it. It would be nice to have another film fest in our state to generate some buzz for the budding film industry.
For more information, you can visit www.silkcityflickfest.com