The Jackson Hole Film Institute closed its doors Tuesday following the nation’s worst single-day points drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday.
“Funding dried up pretty quickly because of what’s been going on with the financial markets,” said Todd Rankin, managing director of the Jackson Hole Film Festival, the primary program of the institute. “Even leading up to this summer’s festival, things were tight.”
The film festival had board and staff committed to raising a sizeable percentage of the full festival budget for 2009, estimated at $1.2 million to $1.5 million. To date, sponsors and support were in place for only about $300,000, and with the worsening national financial outlook, board members were not comfortable going forward, Rankin said. Even streamlining the festival to an $800,000 event didn’t seem feasible.
The sad state of the economy seems to be leaking into everything these days, including the film festival circuit. For those filmmakers suspicious of the way festivals seem to be "raking in" the submissions fees, this should be a bit of evidence to the contrary -- for a festival to survive, they need a few more revenue streams.