In June 2018 we threw a three-day party in downtown Columbia centered around screening music videos. We did not know if anyone would show up to the venues. Music videos are so short, our inner-critics said. Who would pay to attend such a film festival?
You proved us wrong (at least that tiny part of us that doubted). Hundreds of viewers attended, the venues were packed, and the fest received glowing reviews. Once the proverbial door of doubt was cracked opened, anything seemed possible.
The experience of meeting and hosting a local audience in some of our favorite businesses and spaces was a game-changer. As a group we began to ask, what can we accomplish if we set our minds to it?
So we started a nonprofit called “VidWest.” Now we are doing a lot more than planning another film festival. We are working with the City of Columbia and Ragtag Film Society to revitalize and reopen Columbia’s public access television station and community center (CAT). We are applying for a media grant with KOPN radio and other community partners to fund film and journalism projects for local and national distribution. We are planning educational workshops and seminars to increase media literacy in underserved communities. And we are hosting CoMo Shorts, a showcase of Missouri made short films (visit comoshorts.com for more info!). All of this came from you, sort of. Because without your support, we probably wouldn’t believe in ourselves as much as we do.
Thank you for seeing a good thing and spending $8 to buy a ticket for a three-day film festival in 2018. We hope to throw another VidWest Music Video Fest one day.
Don’t hold your breath. It will be a while, unfortunately. We’re kind of busy at the moment.
The VidWest Team
Stay tuned for updates on our socials
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