Saturday, May 21, 2011

Proof That Festivals Can Leverage Community Improvement And Help Change Lives

We learn to expect the close partnership, such as the one between the world-acclaimed Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) to culminate with a publicizing of input-output-based estimate of economic impact including local tax yield.Deirdre Haj

But Full Frame’s executive director Deirdre Haj is proof that Festivals can be leveraged even further to improve lives and communities in other ways.

She’s a firm believer that, as an apprentice profession, filmmaking and particularly documentary filmmaking could be a perfect fit one day at Durham’s Holton Resource & Career Center. She’s partnering with the East Durham Children’s Initiative on a pilot project with the help of some grants from Durham Rotary Club (Downtown) and Durham-based Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and GSK.

Her passion and dream for an eventual Documentary Film Trade School in Durham, a community with an already significant resume as a film location, is informed by solid independent third-party research conducted on a program by the Adobe Foundation.

The research showed that after involvement in documentary filmmaking, “at-promise” youth, a term Ms. Haj prefers to “at-risk:”

  • 84% of youth reported learning more about important issues of their own choosing,

  • 86% of participating youth believing their work could make a difference,

  • 91% saying their opinions matter, and

  • 91% of participating youth are interested in continuing their education after high school.

Durham is fortunate to not only have a wider range of signature festivals than other communities but the fact that the majority are homegrown contributes to the community’s unique-sense-of-place and personality.

And as Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is proving, the difference they can make doesn’t stop there!

And DCVB’s role in this partnership is proof to those in the community/destination marketing arena that fostering and nurturing the sustainability of uniquely, home-grown festivals is a very relevant part of what visitor-centric economic and cultural development is all about.

1 comment:

double glazed windows said...

I agree. Festivals tend to increase tourism and economic activity as most people are in a festive mood.