LETTER FROM THE FESTIVAL DIRECTOR: (from the MicroCineFest 2006 program book)

Here it is. The tenth MicroCineFest! Despite all the annual rumors that we had stopped having this festival or had taken a year off, this festival has happened every year for the past ten years. But that's about to change. I am both happy and sad to make the official announcement that MicroCineFest 2006 will be the last one.

There are so many reasons why we have decided to call it quits, but the biggest reason (besides us wanting our lives back) is that there is no longer as much of a need for MicroCineFest as there once was, and therefore, not as much interest in it as there once was. Plenty of other similar festivals have popped up all over the world in recent years, run by people with more resources and energy to devote than we have. We've always enjoyed being an outlet for filmmakers, desperate for an audience, who didn't fit in at other festivals. These days, those filmmakers can simply post their films to YouTube and reach a much greater audience than MicroCineFest ever could, and the filmmaker doesn't have to bother with filling out an entry form, paying an entry fee, and mailing a tape. I still prefer the experience of watching a film on a big screen in a room full of like-minded people. Staring at a tiny computer monitor alone at my desk simply does not have the same impact. In the past few years I have watched countless wonderful films online that I would have loved to have programmed at MicroCineFest, but I was unable to persuade those filmmakers to bother sending me a copy to project in front of an audience.

Hopefully there will be some Best of MicroCineFest events in the years to come, because I have grown to love so many films that have shown in this festival and I never get tired of turning people on to them. But I will no longer give up my summers sitting indoors watching entries, and I will no longer give up my falls making the many arrangements that go into this event (and I will no longer give up my winters and springs avoiding all-things-MicroCineFest).

Despite all the stress and time-consumption, there are a lot of things that I will miss about this festival. For instance, hearing filmmakers say MicroCineFest was the first festival to program their work; hearing an audience cheer for films I knew would be crowd-pleasers; having local filmmakers tell me that MicroCineFest is what inspired them to become filmmakers; seeing the name of our little film festival, run out of a spare bedroom in our home, listed in international press alongside much bigger and more-well-known festivals; and especially the seemingly endless opportunities I've had to make new friends with other cultural-misfits who I probably would not have met if not for this festival (please stay in touch - you all know who you are).

I don't want this finality to overshadow the fact that this is our tenth MicroCineFest! It's a celebration! Enjoy this while you can. It's not the end - something else is bound to come along, if it hasn't already. For you audience members, support what's already going on and let the organizers know what you're interested in. For you filmmakers, seek out other festivals similar to ours (Bearded Child, Movieside and Hi Mom! are the first two that come to mind, but there are plenty of others).

I wish I had room here to thank a ton of people by name, but I don't. So thank you to all the filmmakers who sent us entries (and paid the entry fee), who showed work in our festival, and who came and had a good time. Thank you to all of our audience. Thank you to our jurors who gave up their time and who paid their own travel expenses to be here. Thank you to anyone who ever advertised in our program book or donated goods & services or cut us deals or did good business with us. Thank you to all the press who helped us get exposure for our filmmakers or told audiences about us. And most all, thank you to anyone who has ever volunteered, or did us favors, or gave us help and support, because without you the festival couldn't have been the same, and may not have happened at all. Thank You!

-Skizz Cyzyk
founder/festival director, MicroCineFest

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