Saturday April 20, 2013

DOVER -- Phil Gilpin Jr. went in front of the Selectboard Tuesday night, requesting $15,000 from events programming funds, which was approved after some discussion.

Gilpin has been planning to bring the Independent Television and Film Festival, known as the ITV Fest, to Dover and needed the funds for securing four tents for the event, where selected submissions will be shown.

"(Gilpin) needs to put a deposit on the tents by the end of the month to guarantee he has proper tents for the festival," said Dover Economic Specialist Ken Black, who led the discussion. "Otherwise, you're taking a chance."

"I'm both relieved and excited," said Gilpin after the meeting. "The biggest challenge with this was securing the infrastructure we needed for this festival. With that done, I can focus on building the event, which is really exciting."

Gilpin, who owns the local marketing group known as Green Mountain Vermont, had requested the ITV Fest come to Dover, after it had been held in Los Angeles, Calif., for the past seven years.

One of his goals has been to keep the festival in Dover for years to come.

Black wanted the board to think about it in terms of how many people it would bring to the Deerfield Valley on Sept. 26.

"He's picking 40 films out of the hundreds he's received," said Black. "It's estimated that each of its filmmakers will come with six to 10 people.


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That would be 250 people, assuming no else shows up."

The issue that the Dover Selectboard had to discuss was its own budget for events. Approving Gilpin's request would put the board over by $7,500 for the fiscal year.

Black explained that 75 percent of the funds could come from this fiscal year and the remaining 25 percent would come from the next fiscal year budget.

"I don't think fiscal year is important in economic development," said Selectboard Chairman Randy Terk.

Before the board approved, Black showed his support for the funding.

"I personally recommend they get (the funding). It's an exciting event," he said. "It's the first time it would be in the east coast... They've had audiences of 2,000 to 7,000 people. Clearly, not everyone from L.A. is going to come, but there are a lot of different audiences who didn't go to L.A. This could turn into a very interesting event and make a lot of money for the businesses in town. From the inn perspective to the restaurants, my feeling is it is worth the risk, even if you go over budget to some degree."

Gilpin has already secured sponsors, including Woodchuck Cider, for the event, raising $9,400 for the festival.

92.7 WKVT in Brattleboro is the official sponsor of the event. It has donated 1,500 minutes worth of commercials.

Local supporters of the event showed up to the Selectboard meeting as well.

Rich Caplan, who owns the restaurant One More Time and Paul Donahue who owns the restaurant Last Chair, were in attendance and had both given Gilpin $1,000 each. Hermitage founder Jim Barnes was also at the meeting. He had given an in-kind donation, which included staffing and food for the Saturday night award gala to be held at the Hermitage.

Dover Police Chief Bobby Edwards had given Gilpin permission to use some of his high-quality audio video equipment.

Now with the funding for the tents secured, Gilpin has begun reaching out to industry sponsors as well as potential VIPs for the event.

Terk had mentioned that previous sponsors for the ITV Fest had been Sony and Comedy Central.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.