Sept. 25--MILFORD -- Right now would be a good time to start filming a documentary about the making of the Milford Film Festival.
The festival won't happen until next September, but boosters of the city's first-ever film festival are beginning to plan fundraisers for an event they say will attract actors, writers and directors to Milford.
"You have to create a first step; you have to get people interested in the idea," said James Amann, the former state representative from Devon, who helped spawn the film festival idea in a meeting last year with the city Economic Development Commission.
Amann has experience in the film industry. He takes credit for a film tax credit law passed in 2007 that has attracted some film and media industry jobs to Connecticut. He wants to bring a touch of Hollywood to Milford, partly to highlight the city as a tourist attraction, he said.
Amann has worked as a lobbyist since leaving state government in 2010, and has represented a variety of clients, including film studios. But he says he has no film industry clients at the moment.
"We're really looking to sell Milford and our state of Connecticut," he said.
The Hollywood East Film Festival Committee is starting its fundraising efforts with a golf tournament Oct. 7, which will feature Milford-born Disney entertainer Christy Carlson Romano and former UConn and Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Chris Smith.
John O'Neil of Milford Photo said the idea for the film festival came from a collaboration between Amann and the Economic Development Commission.
"The downtown merchants and the EDC are all excited about this opportunity to bring in some young filmmakers with some interesting and fantastic work, and attracting a bunch of people to come to Milford to see it," said O'Neil, who is the EDC vice chairman and sits on the film festival committee.
There are no solid plans for the event yet, but the committee has scheduled it to run Sept. 4-7. Amann envisions having movies shown all around downtown at outdoor and indoor locations such as Fowler Field and the Parsons Government Center.
Amann also wants to promote the festival to high school and college-age filmmakers, and allow them to compete alongside professional filmmakers.
"We want the kids to see that there's an industry here," Amann said.
The golf tournament will help build funds to launch the festival, Amann said. The festival will be an entirely private, for-profit enterprise, financed initially by events like the golf tournament. Tickets are $225 per person, which includes lunch, dinner and 18 holes of golf; a $250 "elite" level ticket comes with 50 raffle tickets.
Call Neal McNamara at 203-836-7883.
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