The Ballston Spa Film Festival is branching off and creating its own nonprofit entity separate from the village’s business association.
The film festival used to be a committee within the Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association, which recently decided that it would no longer run the film festival and has let the committee form its own organization to carry on the event.
“The nice thing about this organization is we’re able to expand our mission and grow in a different direction than was previously possible,” said Albert Grandin, president of the new organization. The festival organization will now be focused solely on the arts, rather than BSBPA’s mission of promoting local businesses, he said.
The new organization starts operation on April 1. Organizers plan to apply for 501(c)(3) status sometime in the future, which if they’re approved would allow donors to get a tax break. The BSBPA is a nonprofit organization but is not a 501(c)(3), so donations to the film festival in the past were not tax-deductible.
Although the film festival board members have pledged “a modest amount” to get the group running, the new organization will be looking to raise money to put on the annual film festival, which costs “several thousand” dollars a year for promotion, website maintenance and equipment rental, Grandin said. The festival is free to attendees.
“We rely solely on donations,” Grandin said. “This new organization is starting from scratch.”
The new organization has fewer than 10 volunteers, the same people who were involved through the business association, Grandin said.
Each August the volunteers put on the Ballston Spa Film Festival, which shows independent short films from throughout the world. Last year, one film was from Russia. Local students who developed their own films have been featured at the festival as well.
Directors have a chance to talk about their films after the screening.
The family-friendly two-day festival — this year scheduled for Aug. 2 and 3 — takes place indoors at the Ballston Spa High School and outside after dark at the Old Iron Spring Park on Front Street.
Since last year, the organization also has arranged a free monthly showing of classic films at Ballston Spa High School.