READING, Pa, May 12, 2021 — The ReadingFilmFEST is the recipient of a $35,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The money will support the festival’s development initiatives, including production, marketing and promotion, and year-round administrative expenses.
“It is vitally important to support the arts when considering community and economic development, which is why I advocated for ReadingFilmFEST in this grant process,” Sen. Judy Schwank said. “In just a few years, this festival has established a tremendous reputation for quality events that support artists and has brought positive attention into our city and county.”
The funding comes as a relief to the newly established nonprofit organization, which also endured financial loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ReadingFilmFEST was able to persevere, in part due to collaborative efforts and the successful launch of last year’s hybrid festival.
Now in its seventh year, the festival continues to support emerging filmmakers, enhance local art culture and encourage spending in the local community through the following opportunities: FiveMinuteFilmFEST, women and minority screenplay competition, independent premiere film releases, summer Mini-FilmFEST, LunaFEST, and other events.
“ReadingFilmFEST is encouraged by the unified support and collaboration within the community to build a more robust, more vibrant Reading post-COVID. Our focus as a new nonprofit is to create an even more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive film community,” Executive Director Cammie Harris said.
In early 2021, ReadingFilmFEST became its own entity, establishing a board of directors and an advisory council, including past contributors, organizers, and community leaders. Local partnerships will also ensure the festival’s continued viability as an important community event.
ReadingFilmFEST will occur September 30-October 3, 2021, and features indoor, outdoor and online screenings for filmmakers and audiences to safely enjoy.
When: Tuesday, May 18, at 4 p.m.
Where: Boscov Theatre at GoggleWorks 201 Washington St., Reading, Pa 19601
State Sen. Judy Schwank
Cammie Harris, executive director of ReadingFilmFEST
Tracy Schott, board president/creative director of ReadingFilmFEST
Dr. Rodney Ridley, associate provost and vice president/chief operating officer for the O’Pake Institute for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
John R. Loyack, president of Alvernia University
Levi Landis, executive director of GoggleWorks Center for the Arts
Cesar Gonzales, The Gables Foundation/owner of The Gables at Stirling Guest Hotel
Notes: Photo opportunities available. This press event is also open to the public.
ReadingFilmFEST grew out of ReadingFilm, the region’s film commission, to become an established nonprofit organization located at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading, Pennsylvania. The festival continues to promote the area as a location and destination for film and media production, building the community through events and programming and cultivating the development of a regional film industry. ReadingFilmFEST creates programming throughout the year for audiences, students and filmmakers, culminating in a four-day international film festival each fall. FilmFreeway featured ReadingFilmFEST on its Top 100 Film Festivals. In past years, the festival has generated filmmakers from across the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Iran and Columbia. For more info, visit readingfilmfest.com.