The International Black Women’s Film Festival is now Black Laurel Films!
Starting November 1, 2016, the International Black Women’s Film Festival will be introducing changes over the course of the next year, specifically –but not in any particular order:
- Title change
- Mission modification
- Shared revenue distribution
- Official selection non-monetary sponsorship
- Modified presentation model
- Eliminating some film categories and expanding others
- Film events
The first change in the festival is the festival’s title.
The festival founder believes in being clear and direct. The title the “International Black Women’s Film Festival” clearly presented itself as a film festival that was easily identifiable and easily translated into any language. The designation of “Black” as opposed to “African American” eliminated any ethnic or tribal identification and term “International” removed any spatial borders of identification. The term “Black” was also defined groups that recognized themselves as a part of the African Diaspora, regardless of where they taken, arrived, or landed.
Even with a definitive title, the public regularly transposed words in it or simply confused it with festivals that were established at a much later date.
The new title Black Laurel Films is succinct and clear.
Adding “black” to the title underscores the commitment of the original mission of the International Black Women’s Film Festival.
The “laurel” is an image that is instantly recognized in the film and film festival world as conferring honor or an “official selection.” It represents excellence, specifically in movie making. The laurel reflects the excellence that Black Laurel Films and the public will expect from all of the films curated or distributed Black Laurel Films. Also, BLF’s is not using the typical “festival” model of celebrity appearances, unsustainable multiple days, and blocks of programming.
The term “festival” itself has also run its course for the festival. Unless there is major sponsorship, civic engagement, and/or a cadre of paid staff and unpaid volunteers, a niche festival –in the traditional sense– is not sustainable. A niche festival rarely breaks even, regardless of the quality of the programming, quality of the films, or fans. Maintaining a level of quality cannot happen without committed sponsorship and donations. Fewer and fewer donation and support dollars are given each year. As of 2016, the San Francisco Bay Area has become over-saturated with film festivals and more film programming events are competing for sponsorship donations.
Until Summer 2017, marketing materials will use the title: Black Laurel Films, f.k.a. International Black Women’s Film Festival.
The new logo is a simplified letter “b” that is also a stylized movie reel. The logo can appear alone and with the title Black Laurel Films.
Black Laurel Films’ founder Adrienne M. Anderson retains all copyrights to the original International Black Women’s Film Festival logo which was designed by her, and no modification to the original logo may be used for other festivals, companies, or organizations.