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Sedona Film Festival Out of Concert Business

Sedona AZ (June 19, 2017) – With ten days remaining in a $250,000 matching challenge grant campaign to offset increasing costs and reduce debt, the Sedona International Film Festival (SIFF) is less than $30,000 away from reaching its goal.

With underwriting from several generous donors, the matching-challenge campaign and membership drive will run through June 30, 2017.

“The response from the community and the outpouring of support has been phenomenal,” said Sedona International Film Festival Creative and Development Director Pat Schweiss. “We have seen new members, current members renewing for more than one year, others adding additional dollars to their renewals and people who have made straight contributions to this effort. Though we’re still a bit away from reaching our goal, we are overwhelmed with gratitude.”

Schweiss said the SIFF board of directors has released matching funds as renewals and other donations have come in “which has allowed us to significantly pay down our short and long-term debt.”

He said that, in addition to focusing on the nonprofit organization’s financial situation, the board has “spent considerable time looking very hard at the film festival budget going forward as a way to reduce expenses without impacting the quality of what we have offered over the last 24 years.”

Because of the community response, “we have been able to continue programming at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre without cutting back, nor do we intend to. At the same time, we’ve got a financial buffer in our account for operations that will be bolstered by ongoing revenue from the theatre, grants and other fundraising activities.”

The matching grant fundraising campaign launched on May 1, 2017.

Our rapid growth and expansion had made it difficult to control operating expenses and control debt and we knew we had to take dramatic steps to rethink our business model from every angle to create a more efficient operation,” said SIFF Board of Directors Chair Beverly Hurff. “We are incredibly grateful for our community’s support of the campaign.”

Both Hurff and Schweiss were in complete agreement about the fact that “…we will be laser focused on what made us strong these last 24 years. And that was independent film,” Schweiss said. “We are out of the concert business.”

Schweiss said the board will continue its strategic assessment and planning over the next several months.

“We will make changes that will, for the most part, be transparent to our patrons, filmmakers and sponsors, but there will be changes and they will be vital to sustain the Sedona International Film Festival over the long-term.”

To make a SIFF donation and to renew or start a membership, visit here.

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3 Comments

  1. JessL says:

    Of course, the Sedona Film Festival will still accept the generous grant from the City of Sedona. The City automatically puts in the budget every year so the film festival does not have to go to the trouble to ask for free money.

  2. Ev Gentile says:

    they raise $250K, they get same reduced from taxpayers, happy dance

  3. Joyce M. says:

    If they persist with this tax increase, in any form, then it’s time to stand up and take back our voice via Referendum. We did it once, remember? City owned West Highway 89A. NOT!

    This ongoing giveaway to non-profits, including the chamber of commerce, needs to be challenged, and it CAN be done. Only special interests are presently being represented that simply is not right.

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