Building NAFF-ticipation no longer

You might have noticed we are late this winter in pushing the filmmakers amidst our Champaign-Urbana masses to prep their current movie projects for potential inclusion in the sixth annual New Art Film Festival, our local showcase traditionally couched within the Boneyard Arts Festival schedule and staged at the Art Theater Co-op. Feels a touch less manic to not be hearing from your humble editor-turned-festival programmer about the topic, yes?

There is good reason for the delay. After several weeks of deep consideration, we can reveal that we are rescheduling the next NAFF for the near future, most likely in fall 2015. It is hardly our favorite decision but a necessary one. Among many angles we had to weigh before making this call, two involved giving the Art Co-op the programming flexibility to book at will opposite Roger Ebert’s Film Festival as well as allowing yours truly a much-needed window to begin tackling financial and health issues that have been badgering me for far too long. This move certainly takes the NAFF and our community’s best-made movies out of the springtime slot we’ve enjoyed, but we hope to play on the strengths that September or October may give us in terms of potential cross-over with arts events in our region already set for that part of the calendar.

Once we settle on a make-up date with Art general manager Austin McCann, we will announce! You can also keep an eye out for subtle upgrades to both the official NAFF Web site and Facebook page in the coming weeks. Finally, other promoters can inquire about limited NAFF participation in or co-sponsorship of their own events taking place between Boneyard and early first semester of the 2015-16 University of Illinois academic year. At times, we have to creatively meet challenges in the best interests of this key outlet for C-U cinema. We trust all the valuable NAFF audience members out there would do the same alongside us.

Please take a few moments to provide feedback on how you could see the New Art Film Festival improve and thrive in its new time slot, so to speak. Thanks a heap for your past and future patronage!

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. We have no comment at this time about returning the NAFF to April beginning in 2016. Let’s first put on the upcoming show and see how the community responds!

p.s.2 What, did you people think we would unceremoniously shuttle the NAFF someplace else like, oh, Arkansas? Rest assured this is a show that must go on … but only right here, where everybody knows our good name.

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