The film festival’s executive director, standing on the theater’s stage, said it’s about developing and exploring culture. It’s about economic development.
And with the announcement everyone came to hear, the festival will be able to continue those missions.
ReadingFilmFest has received a $25,000 grant from the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development. The money will allow the festival to expand Harris’ role to a year-round one, meaning she can work to create a sustainable business model that keeps the festival running for years to come.
And that, said those who spoke Tuesday, is incredibly important.
“Our film festival is one of the best, if not the best, for a city our size,” said filmmaker Sue Lange. “And it’s only going to get better.”
Tracy Shott, the festival’s creative director, said the festival has grown over each of its six years. The grant will only help that continue.
“Today’s event really shows we’re going to the next level as a film festival,” she said.
State Sen. Judy Schwank, who facilitated the festival’s efforts to obtain the grant, said ReadingFilmFest is one of the things that makes the community great.
The festival shows off the diversity and talent that exists in Berks County, she said, as well as all that the city and county have to offer.
“This is greater Reading,” she said. “This is a great place to be.”
Pamela Shupp, executive director of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, said ReadingFilmFest is one of the things that make her a proud Berks Countian, proud to be from Reading.
“We have a message to tell,” she said. “And it’s important, and it’s one that needs to be shouted from the rooftops.”
The ReadingFilmFest will take place Nov. 5 through 8. Last year’s edition included more than 70 feature, documentary and short films. Films will be shown at the GoggleWorks and Reading Movies 11 & IMAX theater.
In addition to November’s festival, ReadingFilmFest will also present Five Minute FilmFEST in May featuring short films created by high school students.
Submissions for the 2020 ReadingFilmFest are being accepted. For more information visit readingfilmfest.com.