Guest blogger Melissa Kirkendall is the director of the Fearless Film Festival.
One of the things I really stress on when talking about the Fearless Film Festival is the fact that is a FREE, open to the public, Film Festival. And I honestly can’t think of any other public film festival in Texas anyway that is free. How is this possible you might ask and why aren’t there any other free film festivals.
I’ll try to answer this as best as I can.
First of all, Fearless is lucky to have been the brain child of the Fort Worth Main St. Arts Festival 3 years ago. If you did not know it, Main St. is a multi-award winning festival that attracts over 200,000 people from all over the world each year. Main St. has been on the cutting edge of music and art festivals for over 23 years and so adding in a film portion to the festival keeps in align with the festivals mission to celebrate and promote the arts – ALL of the Arts. Once Main St. decided to add a small film festival to it’s repertoir they decided to keep the film screenings free just like all the other art and performances that are offered at Main St. So, that is why Fearless is Free and will continue to be free for years to come.
Of course, there are still expenses that have to be covered. Sponsors and participants like the Downtown Fort Worth Library help keep the expenses to a minimum in order to keep the festival free. This does sometimes make it challenging, but Fort Worth has such a great sense of community support that whatever obsticles arise, somehow someone steps up and helps out. Fearless exists because Fort Worth supports it.
As far as why other film festivals aren’t free. I would say it’s due to all sorts of reasons, but the main one would be that their focus is different. In other words, a festival like SXSW is very networking and industry driven. Fearless is about connecting audience with artist by encouraging the public to come out and have a no risk opportunity to experience something new and maybe even learn a thing or 2! How better to do that than make it FREE and easily accessible.
I hope you will come out to the Downtown Fort Worth public library on April 18 & 19 to experience some films, meet the filmmakers and ask us some questions… we love to talk about our craft!!