Have $15,000 To Spare?

The film festival needs it, maybe more than you do

With only two weeks until the kickoff of the 2018 Todos Santos/La Paz Film Festival, organizers are appealing for extra funds to ensure the festival expenses get paid. The Mexican government helps the festival with a $7,000 USD contribution, but this falls short of costs associated with transporting film makers from locations around Latin America, Europe and the United States.

The government funds are intended to offset expenses related to travel and lodging but it’s simply not enough. “We are a lot more established than we were 15 years ago, but it’s not reflected in the amount of support we receive,” says Sylvia Perel, film festival founder and director. “We are in desperate need of funds.”

To solve the funding problem, festival staff has organized a Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter, is a website that allows people to “crowdfund” their projects. Crowdfund basically means that they ask people to donate to their cause by sending money in over the internet. They make their plea for funds on a page in Kickstarter.

Sylvia says they got the idea for a Kickstarter campaign after seeing others in the industry do the same thing. “We had friends in Spain that were using Kickstarter for a film and we thought, if they’re using it for a film, then we can use it for the festival.”

Festival organizers are hoping to raise $15,000. They consider this a small amount, given that the total budget for the film festival is $55,000. That’s a minuscule budget by Hollywood standards.

Carlos Gonzalez, who is in charge of the Kickstarter campaign, says the amount is so small (again, that’s by film industry standards), it’s hard to believe it could make a difference in funding. But that’s why it’s so crucial for supporters to contribute. “Even a small donation makes a big difference,” he says.

Especially given that the fact that, with the way Kickstarter is set up, if the organizers don’t reach their goal of $15,000, they don’t get any of the money they raised. That’s right: They could raise $14,000 but wouldn’t see a penny because they fell short of their original goal. And right now, they’re very short: They’ve only raised a whopping $32, and only have until March 1st to raise the rest.

Carlos is drawing attention through social media via the Todos Santos Newsfeed page on Facebook. If you’d like to make a donation, go to Kickstarter.com and search for “Festival de cine de Todos Santos/La Paz.”

Should the worst-case scenario happen and the festival doesn’t get its money, festival logistics coordinator Patricia Baum says the tight budget won’t affect the quality of films people have come to expect from the festival. “We don’t want to paint a picture that we’re insolvent,” she says. (Well, which is it? Do you need it or not?)

The 2018 Todos Santos/La Paz Film Festival will be held in three locations: La Paz, Pescadero and Todos Santos, running from March 7th to 11th. Films are screened in Spanish with English subtitles. The festival’s opening night will feature two young women film makers who learned their craft at the festival’s film school, enrolling when they were just 11 years old. This year, women in film is the film’s central theme, with female directors, actresses, and producers talking about women’s issues. The festival also coincides with Dia de la Mujer, Mexico’s Day of the Woman.

For more information on the film festival, visit facebook.com/FestivalCineTodosSantos or email info@todossantoscine.org.