Jennifer Amman, Festival Production Manager for the Telluride Film Festival, leaves her position with this rather public message. I've never met Jennifer or been to Telluride, but the video provides a glimpse into the problems (and backstage tensions) that exist at many film festivals these days. Sponsors are harder to come by these days and money is tight all over. It's tempting to side automatically with Jennifer, but as Sarasota Film Festival programming director Tom Hall rightfully points out:
. . . cutbacks to festival budgets are an absolute reality right now, and that one of the main issues facing any non-profit at this time is setting new, adjusted priorities and getting organizational buy-in for those changes. I don’t think there is anyone working at festival today, from a Board President to a volunteer, who has faced down a change to the landscape and hasn’t thought to themselves “This is the last straw.” I know I have, I know everyone has; it’s all part of being under-paid, over-worked and deeply passionate about the integrity of the event you’re putting on.
That said, finding savings in the morning meals of your volunteers (if true) makes you an easy target for ridicule.