Vail Chamber eager for film festival |

Vail Chamber eager for film festival

Richard tenBraakVail, CO, Colorado

The Vail Film Festival is about to celebrate its fourth year as one of the most culturally exciting events in Vail and one of the top film festivals in the country. As an early, staunch supporter of the festival, the Vail Chamber & Business Association anticipates and welcomes its return year after year. Now, as the festival is only a few weeks away, the chamber office is abuzz with excitement for another successful year. In 2004, the chamber made a substantial donation to the fledgling Vail Film Institute. Three years later, the chamber is proud of how the festival has evolved and of our involvement in that process. The event has grown from a small, independent-minded festival into an event that is respected by the Vail community and the film community worldwide. It is an event that attracts more than 10,000 people, draws the community together through volunteer efforts and puts Vail on the forefront of the cinematic-arts stage. Press surrounding the festival has flourished, and each year, more and more important contributors to the film world are honored. This year actor/writer/director Harold Ramis will be given the festivals highest honor, the Gold Summit award, which honors his contribution to film over the decades. Sophia Bush and Hayden Panettiere, two of todays most visible actresses, will also receive awards. Most exciting to the chamber is its own involvement with the festival. After forging a close relationship with the events founders early on, the chamber continues to work closely with the Vail Film Institute. For the past three years, the chamber has provided a staff member to help coordinate the festivals approximately 150 volunteers. This position requires dedication and time yet is always enjoyable and rewarding. A phenomenal number of Vail locals and temporary festival transplants participate, hosting actors, working in the theaters and generally ensuring the success of the festival. This indicates the level of excitement the community has for the festival. The festivals sponsor list has also grown. BestLife magazine, a cutting-edge mens publication, is the primary sponsor, in addition to Subaru, Stella Artois, Fandango, the (RED) Gap campaign and the Fandango movie-ticket Web site, to name a few. The national media also come to Vail. Last year alone, media representatives came to Vail from Entertainment Tonight, Elle magazine, MTV and the New York Times. Kaye Ferry, executive director of the Vail Chamber & Business Association, is a long-standing board member of the Vail Film Institute and has developed a business partnership with the company. Not only is she dedicated to the institutes work, but she also serves as the one of the town liaisons on a diverse board. The chamber values having input with such a worthy nonprofit organization and will continue to foster that relationship.For four days, the festival dominates the Vail scene, and every resident and business is positively affected. From a chamber standpoint, this increase in visitors means that more visitors are bringing more business to Vail merchants. These visitors also are fortunate enough to experience Vail at its finest great skiing, springlike weather and filled with people and activity. It is a truly remarkable event to be so involved in. As part of its agreement with the Vail Film Institute, the chamber is able to offer discounted passes to the festival. For more information, call the chamber at 477-0075. For volunteer opportunities, e-mail

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