TV and film festival gains community support

Saturday April 6, 2013

DOVER -- On March 27, President of Green Mountain Marketing Phil Gilpin Jr. held an informational meeting to encourage local participation in the Independent Television and Film Festival coming to town on Sept. 26.

"The interest was very high," Gilpin said. "People had heard rumors but hadn’t seen anything about it."

The meeting, which drew more than 80 people, was held at the Last Chair, a restaurant in West Dover.

Gilpin gave a presentation about the event itself as well as what would be required to prepare for it. A major concern of his is getting enough money together to make the festival a successful one. His hopes are to make it work well enough that its organizers will want to return to Dover next year. At the meeting, $3,900 was donated to Gilpin for the ITV Fest.

Gilpin has also been in discussions with people from the Wilmington Fund, the Wilmington Selectboard, the Dover Economic Development Specialists and the Dover Selectboard.

"Any opportunity I have, I’m out in discussions with them," he said. "It’s at a fundamental point right now. I’ve taken this as far as I can on my own. Now it’s getting the community financially involved."

Gilpin would prefer to have more screening tents than less. He figures two tents would fit about 2,000 people. The size of the event will largely depend on how many people buy tickets, how much money comes in from sponsors as well as from private donations and how many people volunteer their time.

"I think people got the message," said Gilpin. "People are starting to put money behind this."

After the meeting, several businesses came forward to assist with funding for the ITV Fest. Some local craft vendors signed up and gave money to the cause.

One More Time, a restaurant in Dover, had already agreed to help; 50 percent of the money people spend playing pool in their establishment will go towards funding the festival. Last Chair owners also pitched in with some funds.

Gilpin said that it’s extremely important for the event to return next year.

"This is a new million-dollar or more revenue driver that has never been here before," he said. "It’s adding an entire holiday season to the economy."

Its potential return depends on two things, Gilpin added.

"It’s going to depend upon the quality of the event infrastructure," he said. "If it’s only two tents, it’s going to seem small. If it’s six or seven, it won’t seem small. High quality and high turnout is what I’m focusing on now until the event."

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


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