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Film fest was a big hit

Kaye Ferry

Vail was a great place to be this weekend if you are a junkie- a film junkie that is. And anybody who knows me knows that I am one.

This weekend was like being a kid in a candy shop. We all kept reading the schedule and debating how many presentations we could fit into one day.

The choices were overwhelming, and trying to see them all was impossible. But we indeed made a valiant attempt.



One thing I can assure you is that the festival organizers lost money on us, as we had passes that allowed entry into all full length features, documentaries, shorts, panel discussions and even the opening night party. This pass was a special for Vail residents and cost a measly $50. Whoever said there’s no such thing as a good deal in Vail?

Being closely associated with the event, I have a miniscule idea of the work involved with pulling it off. But from those in the know, all weekend I kept hearing what an amazing first year accomplishment it was.



The place was flooded with industry people from both coasts. They apparently understood what was happening long before the locals understood it. Pre-sale of locals’ tickets was very slow. But once things got close to opening day, they came out in droves also. Many of the films were sold out and had to have extra screenings added.

Special credit needs to be given to the event producers, Scott and Sean Cross and Denis Jensen. They pulled out all the stops in getting a world premier, “Before Sunset,” with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy – something unheard of for a first year event. Other festivals were furiously vying for the sequel to “Before Sunrise,” but the Vail Film Festival won out.

They also need to be congratulated for the quality of product that was here. The potential was vast, and each submission was reviewed by the producers. They wanted a quality festival and opted to keep it on a somewhat smaller scale to ensure that.



The selection criteria they used resulted in so many outstanding choices that the biggest complaint I heard was the festival should be longer next year with more screenings because it was impossible to take it all in – which left the junkies frustrated.

An aspect that provided something known as “added value” was the attendance by many industry personnel who made themselves available for Q & A sessions at the end of the presentations. That interaction with the attendees provided a special connection with the films and personalized the event.

So to all of those who were skeptical, who thought nobody needed another film festival, who didn’t think the turn out would happen – you couldn’t have been more wrong. Vail’s first film festival was a ROARING success! And it happened at a time of the year when we really need the beds filled and activities abounding.

Congratulations to all involved for a memorable weekend!

Speaking of spring events, there’s more. Taste of Vail starts this week, and the Vail Mountain Marathon is on the 10th. Spring Back to Vail is on the next two weekends and concludes with the second annual pond skimming contest at Golden Peak on the 17th. And don’t forget, nominees in the Premier Impressions Program, the year-end celebration party, is tonight from 4 to 6 at 8150. $5,000 is the big award and you MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN any of the prizes. Please bring a date and join us for the festivities.

WHAT’S WITH HATS? I know we live in the West. And I know that old cowboys sleep with their boots on and never take their hats off, but come on. It’s not like we’re living out on the range. Perhaps Kim would like to address this in one of her etiquette classes. Maybe if the offenders were really cowboys. But in the absence of that, hats need to come off in restaurants, meetings and council sessions. We can make an exception for Western dancing.

DID ANYBODY NOTICE? Mike Cacioppo won his lawsuit against Eagle County. Seems they overcharged him for copies of public documents and he took them to court. Mike takes a lot of heat for his opinions and generally pushing the envelope. This makes it clear that some times that envelope needs to be pushed.

Cars on the Frontage Road: Well, they were all over down near the Vail Cascade Hotel, but they were film festival generated – not skiers. My guess is that the skiers are now golfers and we won’t hear from them again until next winter. I’ll get back to this topic later, but the problem wasn’t as bad this year as it has been previously. This is partly due to the fact that the Colorado Pass holders skied fewer days but also VRI put 200-plus spaces on the West Day lot into the parking pool this year. Those spaces will not be available next year, so let’s don’t think it’s a non-issue. We just had a temporary reprieve.

Do your part: Call them and write them.

To contact the Town Council, call 479-1860, ext. 8, or e-mail towncouncil@vailgov.com. To contact Vail Resorts, call 476-5601 or e-mail vailinfo@vailresorts.com. For past columns, vaildaily.com-columnists or search:ferry.

Kaye Ferry is a longtime observer of Vail government. She writes a weekly column for the Daily.


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