A local film fest was canceled this year for the first time since its inception 17 years ago.
The Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival was unable to find the $180,000-$200,000 needed to put on the event, which spans several days at , said Jo Moulton, the president of the nonprofit organization that runs the event.
Most of the funding in the past came from a small handful of large donors, but they were unable to give as much this year, the president said today.
"The economy has affected their ability to do that," she said.
No grant from city
Another big chunk of funding used to come from the city, but this year, Moulton did not apply for a grant, said Assistant City Manager Aaron Adams.
"Historically, the (festival) has been the beneficiary of economic development sponsorship grants," he said via email. "The (festival) chose not to apply for consideration of economic development funding last year and, as a result, could not be considered with the other applications."
Moulton saw funding problems on the horizon last year, and she did not want to get a grant for tens of thousands of dollars and then be unable to hold the event, she said.
"If I got the money, and (the fest staff) couldn't pull it together, what if they owed the city? It's me who applied for it," Moulton said. "I didn't want to be responsible for that."
Moulton could have held a scaled-down event this year, but people's expectations are too high for that; she didn't want to disappoint the fans, she said.
"I didn't want the bad economy to dictate the quality of the festival, so we may as well put it on hold to work on the next one," she said. "Could it be done for less? Yes, it can. You can do a festival for $10,000, but what do you get?"
Last year's event climaxed with an appearance from Cybil Shepard and producer Peter Bogdanavich. to screen the film she co-produced.
Next year looking better
Funding and manpower look more plentiful for next year's event, Moulton said.
A couple new backers stepped in with plans to reorganize and put in major funding, but they came too late to save this year's fest, she said.
In the meantime, Moulton is working on holding some small film-related events in September, around the same time the fest usually happens.
As always, the fest is looking for donations and volunteers. "I really, truly appreciate the all the volunteers," Moulton said. "It's really the volunteers who made the festival happen."