In a small town in Colorado there is an annual film festival that is growing year on year to become one of the preemininent independent cinema festivals founded in 2003, and in 2011 expected to be the biggest and best year yet with events scheduled to take place between the 31st March and the 3rd April, in Vail, Colorado.
Staged by the Colorado Film Institute, the Vail Film Festival takes place at Vail Mountain Ski Resort in the Rocky Mountains, and attracts some of the best new independent film makers and the stars of their productions. In addition, the festival offers a platform for new film premiers, panel deliberations, live music shows, evening dinners, and networking opportunities for filmmakers in Colorado and the mid-West.
As a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organisation, the Colorado Film Institute has as its primary goal the development of aspiring film makers in the state of Colorado, however being isolated from Hollywood and other major centers of entertainment, the creation of the Vail Film Festival was seen as one of the ways that local entertainers and story tellers would have an opportunity to mix with and get support from established independent film makers in more populous states.
Since its creation, the Vail Film Festival has hosted over 300 film makers and seen attendances from some of the entertainment industry’s best known actors and producers, including Hayden Panattiere, Jane Seymour, Harold Ramis, Zach Braff, Kevin Smith, Tim Daly, and many more. The festival was created by Sean and Scott Cross whose idea wasn’t expected to be successful, but a fantastic location and thriving Colorado independent film industry meant local buy-in was almost guaranteed, and it didn’t take much to convince major sponsors to step up and support the festival.
The city of Vail is also credited with part of the success of the festival, given the upmarket ambience of the city with its many luxury hotels and holiday homes, a wide range of excellent restaurants, mountain views, the Vail Mountain ski resort considered one of the largest in the world, and also the highest botanical gardens in the world.
The Vail Film Festival further cements the reputation of the city and the state of Colorado as a premium destination, in fact many of Hollywood’s top actors and directors already visit Vail in the winter months already, giving the film festival an added benefit as compared with other film festivals, the red carpet is already well known and attracts celebrities simply because it is Vail.
In 2011, the Vail Film Festival will pay tribute to two of the hottest properties in independent film, Kate Bosworth who will be arriving to claim the Excellence in Acting Award, and Micheal Imperioli, an Emmy Award winning actor who is to receive the 2011 Renegade Award for Risk Taking in Film.