Thursday, May 12, 2005

Fiber Film Festival launches

Lafayette Coming Together held a press conference this morning announcing the launch of the Fiber Film Festival. The festival, about which you may read more at fiberfilmfestival.com, is about creativity, joie de vie, and fun. And it's about 60 seconds or less of pro-fiber message. The press event had heavy media coverage, with both dailies, KATC, and KLFY in attendence. In addition to the announcements and demos of the project, impromtu interviews with reporters occured both before and after the event. Watch your TV's; it should be fun to see what the media does with something so nonstandard.

It will be a juried competition with prizes and categories for both amatuers and professionals. Entries will stream from our web site, as well as air on AOC. There is no entry fee and everyone is invited to submit. (For the official entry rules, just send an email to entries@fiberfilmfestival.com.) This is a new way to use the digital media to create awareness of an issue and a great way to campaign for a cause.

If you would like to be notified whenever a new short is posted on the web site, you can just send an email to notifyme@fiberfilmfestival.com.

If you'd like to get involved but lack actors, scripts, or enough creative juice to get you going, visit the Creative Community where you can register and share ideas, talent and conversation about the event. There are also sponsorships available. Send an email to sponsors@fiberfilmfestival.com if you'd like to get involved in that way.

What follows is a message I wrote up that was part of a press packet--it tries to let folks know why we think this a particularly appropriate way to wage the battle for a fiber optic network in Lafayette.

Why a Film Festival?
A statement from Lafayette Coming Together

Lafayette Coming Together is For Fiber. We understand that we are stewards of our community and that helping to build a fiber-optic network for Lafayette is one of the best ways we can make our community more vital and better prepared for the future. And we are quite serious about it.

But to stop there is not the Acadiana way. We’d like to have a little fun as well. Have a festival. Express a little joie de vie, and show that the technology we hope to help bring to our community can be integrated into our cultures and strengthen our creativity and spirit.

This Fiber Film Festival is symbolic of the way we believe that the big, fast connections that fiber will bring can be used by Lafayette. We hope it will be creative, fun, and change the way the advertising campaign over fiber is fought here.

The peoples of Acadiana have always been active producers of our own cultures – certainly nobody else is going to do it for us – and we hope events like this can move the creativity, expressive spirit, and sly humor that have been regional trademarks onto new platforms of expression. People will be more easily able to produce pieces marked with the imprint of our history and cultures. Big Bandwidth will enable us to be more than passive consumers of a national culture.

But to get there we’ll need to win the upcoming referendum on July 16. It’s easy to see that we won’t be able to match the dollars that BellSouth and Cox can pour in if they desire. But we can choose to fight a sly – a canille – battle. Instead of relying entirely on a mammoth advertising campaign, we can release many smaller, gritty pieces, some on TV perhaps, but many more downloaded, commented on, laughed over, emailed, and linked to. These messages can, and will, find their own audiences. This strategy makes use of the openness and flexibility of an emerging media that will be vastly expanded by a high-speed fiber optic network.

We’re serious about our fun. And hope the participants in this festival will be as well.

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