Have you seen this pitchman’s spiel?
If not, you likely will by the end of this month.
The Okanagan Film Festival is about to launch a massive media blitz in a bid to raise $30,000 in 30 days to bail out the ailing festival.
“With a place like Kelowna you could really make it as successful as a South by Southwest,” film festival (sxsw.com) said Adam Scorgie whose independent film, The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, saw him tour 33 festivals worldwide and crack the Internet Movie Database’s top-20 documentaries of all time.
“The five-year-plan is to really make it an event like Centre of Gravity (music and sports festival) that people would be coming to Kelowna for,” said Scorgie.
He believes it should be a tourist draw with new films, directors and stars capable of commanding attention and drawing movie business executives who might be interested in filming here or hiring from the Okanagan talent pool.
At the moment, however, the OFF is in serious debt for a non-profit society, owing $13,000 to creditors. It’s a deficit Okanagan film commissioner, Jon Summerland, figures is the result of having serious film buffs at the helm without the corresponding salesmanship Scorgie offers.
Noting Jason Woodford and his father David, who ran the festival previously, are still making movies in town and still go-to people on the film end of the business, Summerland said he had a hand in placing Scorgie on the new board as he believes his ability to make money should be enough to bring the event to the next level.
“There are other festivals in the background which are looking to take off in its place if this doesn’t work,” said Summerland. “But I have the utmost confidence that Adam is the person for the job.”
The $30,000 goal in 30 days will be run through an online campaign site called Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com), which offers emerging artists a chance to pitch themselves as an investment.
Scorgie just used it to finance the pitches for his latest documentary project, Ice Guardians, about hockey’s enforcers. He raised $24,000 in two months to build his company, Score G Productions, and now has a detailed list of his backers from the company and a thumbs up from the NHL to move to the next step on Ice Guardians.
The products Kickstarter puts together—in his case everything from basic merchandise like T-shirts to signed NHL jerseys and box seats—made the fundraising component simple enough that even small investors could walk away feeling like they had a stake in the product, he said.
For the Okanagan Film Festival, the opportunities that a sizeable donation will yield lend themselves particularly well to the film business, with things like name and logo recognition on the festival’s website and being listed on-screen at film showings among the list of donor bonuses.
The campaign is time-sensitive. If the $30,000 goal is not reached within the 30-day time frame set, then none of those who signed on with a donation are charged and the project folds.
Those who want to check out the pitch can do so at www.kickstarter.com, under Okanagan Film Festival, or http://offestival.net.
There are just 17 days left in the campaign to pledge support.