March 30, 2018 By Tara Law
The organizers of the Kew Gardens film festival are calling on the community to help fund its second annual film festival this summer.
The festival founders are seeking donations to help cover the cost of the 10-day event, known as the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.
The festival, which attracted about 3,000 attendees last year, will feature more than 100 films by independent filmmakers from around the world this August at the Kew Gardens Cinemas and in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The campaign, which is being hosted on film crowdsourcing website Seed & Spark, must collect 80 percent of its goal by April 18 to receive any funding. So far, the campaign has collected $610 of its $10,000 goal.
The festival, which is organized by a nonprofit of the same name, offers unknown filmmakers the chance to find an audience.
“We focus on the little guy’s passion project,” said Jayson Simba, the festival founder and executive director. “Many are of incredible quality that can compete with what you see in theaters.”
The festival will also host networking events and panels for participating filmmakers to help them learn about the industry and offers publicity for all films screened. Last year, four of the films were picked up by movie distributers to be shown in theaters.
Funds needed to host comparable 10-day festivals can reach $100,000, Simba said. Simba hopes to use the funds towards towards screening facilities and marketing.
The festival will go on regardless of the outcome of the fundraiser, but Simba said that the additional funds are much needed.
“We’re a nonprofit in our infancy, and we don’t qualify for any sort of grant or city or state funding,” said Simba.
People who are interested in supporting the festival but are unwilling to donated can hit “follow” on the festival’s campaign. If the festival gains 1,000 followers by the end of the fundraiser, it can receive additional corporate sponsors and prizes from Seed & Spark.
The festival will continue to take film submissions until April 8. Submissions of short films cost $75, and long films are $85.