Film Festival board phoning for donations

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend Film Festival is conducting its first telephone fundraising drive.

The phone drive, which is to raise money for a matching grant, began Tuesday evening and continues through today.

In February, an anonymous donor pledged to match up to $10,000 of money raised during the entire fundraising campaign, which ends May 1.

In contrast with the fancy phone banks used by large charities, the film festival version consists of up to nine board members occupying parts of the downtown office while using their individual cellphones to make pitches.

At the end of the phone drive’s first night, the total raised was $3,685, said Janette Force, executive director of the film festival.

Force said money raised during the campaign will go toward replacing a computer server that has been in use since 1994; sponsoring film programs throughout the year; and defraying some of the festival’s expenses.

“The festival does not pay for itself,” Force said.

“No matter how many passes or standing-room-only tickets we sell, we still need to pay for licensing screening fees, which can be really expensive.”

Force explained the reason that the donor, like many large-amount contributors, will not be identified.

“People who make a significant contribution want to stay anonymous, not because they are hounded by other fundraisers, but because they don’t want to disrespect those groups that they don’t support,” Force said.

Force said the film festival website at contains several new features, including a short film by Jane Champion and interviews of the festival’s 2012 participants assembled and edited by Chimacum High School students.

“When you watch these interviews, you see how important it can be to talk to the actual filmmakers,” Force said.

Force said 126 films from 18 countries have been submitted for consideration at this year’s festival, which takes place from Sept. 20-22.

For more information, visit the website or phone 360-379-1333.


Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at

Last modified: March 06. 2013 5:07PM
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