2020 and the Coronavirus Pandemic
What it means for the Festival
I sincerely apologize for the delay in sending out the newsletter. It's been a personally challenging couple of months (I work an essential job outside of my duties to the festival) and in all honesty my focus shifted heavily away from the festival for a time. Now that I've been back in action so to speak with the festival, I have made plans moving forward to ensure that 2020 will still see the festival.
If you are not already aware, New York State currently still has restrictions in place that orders businesses (including our venue) to close, stay at home orders for non-essential personnel among many social distancing policies should you be in public. With these restrictions, many film festivals are moving online.
We are not ready to do that. Moving online would seriously jeopardize our filmmaker's chances at a distribution deal either with our partner, SMG, or another distributor. As I have always held true to the mission of this festival, we are here for the filmmakers and a move online would only hurt our filmmakers. I understand other festival's issues - as one major problem is our own - that a festival cancellation means that the festival would have to refund the submissions fees to all submitters. Sounds easy enough, except as many festivals have overhead costs such as venue rental, event reservations, advertising, print marketing, etc. some of the funds from previous submissions were already allocated. Hence the reason so many festival went online - to still have the festival and not be mandated by FilmFreeway and other submission sites to refund the fees. So if we are not going to do an online festival - and restrictions are still in place by September - what are we going to do? Something way cooler, obviously!
A drive-in Festival. You read that correctly. A drive-in film festival at a good ole fashion drive-in movie theater. Don't get too excited though - this is only our backup plan. Indications are that drive-ins will be allowed to operate in the near future and even with restrictions to stay inside the vehicle, they would not only be safe, but fun and different.
So the plan is simple at this point - we are going forward with our original plans. Cinema Saver, Sept. 18-20. If the venue is going to be shutdown, we will make the move to an available, near by drive in (we've been in contact with a couple). For logistical and planning purposes we will have to make this decision by mid to late July. At that point in time, we will make the necessary and appropriate changes and move forward with either plan A or Plan B.
We have however, pushed back the pass and ticket sales date to June 1st. Passes will be available starting June 1st, either online at twintiersfilmfest.com, or directly at Cinema Saver (if open).
Please be safe and I hope you and your family are well in this unprecedented time.
Twin Tiers International Film Festival announces sponsorship deal with WSKG
The Twin Tiers International Film Festival is excited to announce that WSKG will become the festival's presenting sponsor.
As part of the sponsorship, WSKG's Rod Serling Film Festival, a K-12 student
film festival, will have the opportunity to showcase their films directly
at the Twin Tiers Film Festival.
"The partnership is really great for younger students, especially high school students, to get involved with a more premiere independent film festival. The students that are serious in furthering their filmmaking education into college not only will have the opportunity to attend professional educational workshops, they will also be able to network and build relationships with indie filmmakers from across the world, get exposure to possible indie film distribution and get first hand experience in the festival circuit all before they even get to college," Twin Tiers director Christopher Pike said. "I'm excited to give this opportunity to these younger students. Our festival only has student categories for those at the college level, so this is a great opportunity for us to be able to extend our resources to more film students."
The Twin Tiers Film Festival will benefit greatly from the new partnership. WSKG will be providing the festival with advertising, marketing and broadcasting opportunities that are wide ranging across two market areas. With WSKG, the festival will greatly enhance its capability and capacity for a wider ranging awareness campaign thus furthering exposure to the festival and its offerings.
"WSKG has been tremendous in their efforts and generous in their offerings to help our festival," Pike said. "With their backing, I feel like this is a regional game changer. It expands our outreach many times over and provides us with a solid media sponsor that everyone has access to. I can't thank their entire team enough for their support."
The Opening and Closing Acts
Two exciting events planned.
Opening Act - Friday, Sept. 18 @ 10:30am
Special Tribute to local filmmaking legend, Rod Serling
hosted by Michael Pipher, Rod Serling archivist and historian
Most local residents and Rod Serling fans know that Binghamton, New York is considered the home of Rod Serling. Only a short distance away from our festival, Binghamton served as Serling's childhood home as Serling graduated from Binghamton Central High School in 1943.
Well known and often thought of as a TV icon, Serling created the ever popular "Twilight Zone" in 1959 and co-wrote the 1968 film "Planet of the Apes" starring Charlton Heston.
Our special tribute to Rod Serling will highlight the life and career of a local filmmaker whose journey took him from Binghamton to Hollywood's pinnacle. With a special focus on local film making, Serling can serve as inspiration for any aspiring filmmaker regardless of where you come from.
All interested film fest attendees are welcome to visit the Rod Serling Archive at the Bundy Museum during the festival weekend. The archive is one of just a few Rod Serling archives in the world and is home to rare memorabilia and personal items, among other things.
Closing Act - Sunday, Sept. 20 @ 5pm
Hollywood Actor Jon Donahue set to Host Awards Ceremony
with special musical performance by Smoketown
Hollywood actor and Binghamton native Jon Donahue will host the festival awards and dinner gala at the Riverdale Banquet Hall Sunday night, Sept. 20th. Immediately following the awards ceremony, dinner will be served and live music by Smoketown will commence.
Jon has amassed a massive list of credits throughout his career, however it all started in Binghamton when he was a WBNG-TV reporter and moved on to saving unsuspecting tourists from "Jaws" at Universal. Some of his Hollywood acting credits include "Bridge of Spies", "Inferno", "Cloud Atlas", "The Post" and "An American Pickle", due out this summer.
Admission into the Riverdale is free with VIP pass, $5.00 with any All-day pass or $10.00 without a pass. Dinner is optional, but must be reserved before Sept. 14th. Dinner cost is $35.00 and includes all tax and gratuity. A cash bar will be available. Perhaps our favorite of all is that Baked Euphoria will be providing a custom made cake for dessert! YOU CAN MAKE DINNER RESERVATIONS ONLINE BY CLICKING HERE
A Special interview event with Jon Donahue is also being planned. We do not have specific details yet, but the event will take place either Friday (9/18) or Saturday (9/19) evening and be moderated by a well-known local media member in the style of James Lipton's "Inside the Actor's Studio".
The audience will have ample opportunities to ask Jon questions about his career and his personal path getting to Hollywood. Admission for this interview will be free, with donations encouraged to support a local charity or cause to be decided at a later date.
Festival Admission passes and tickets available online starting June 1st.
Dinner Reservations available now thru Sept. 14th.
admission passes and tickets will go on sale online starting June 1st. Because of the coronavirus restrictions currently in place, Cinema Saver is not open to get your passes in person. As a result, all pass and ticket sales must be online until Cinema Saver is able to open. At that time, we will make passes and tickets also available at Cinema Saver.
We know these are uncertain times, however, we want to assure you that we will guarantee a refund should the festival need to cancel due to state restrictions OR if we switch venues and you no longer want to attend due to the new location. If we postpone the festival to different dates, at the same location, your passes/tickets will be valid for the new dates.
If we cancel the festival, we will contact those who purchased passes/tickets and refund them. If you decide you do not want to attend due to a venue switch, you must contact us for the refund. As of now, our plan is to follow our original schedule without changes.
VIP Pass - $40.00 - Access to Every film, workshop and event all weekend. Free and exclusive access to VIP events, exclusive discounts on food and local things to do, Free access to awards ceremony and live music plus a free gift "swag" bag.
All-Day Pass - $20.00 - Access to every film and workshop for the day of your choice. Discounted admission rates into special events (on any day of the festival)
Single Feature Film or Short Block* - $6.00 for 1 or 2 for $10.00 - Admission into any single feature film or short block of your choice at any time throughout the festival. 1 admission per ticket.
*A short block is a grouping of short films of the same genre (drama, comedy, sci-fi, etc.) The short films vary in length from 1-2 minutes up to 39 minutes per film. Every short block is grouped together so that the block runs about the same length as a long feature or in some cases, longer.
Single Workshop Only (no films) - $5.00 - Admission into any one workshop only, no films. Students are Free (with ID) - Remember, admission into workshops is included with a VIP pass or an All Day Pass (on the same day).
VIP and All-Day Passes will not be mailed. You will receive a confirmation and be placed on our guest list. Simply come to the front counter and show your ID to pickup your passes.
Single tickets WILL BE MAILED. No refunds or exchanges can be made (unless due to coronavirus as stated above)
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Next issue: July 2020.
Stay tuned for exciting news and event updates!