Demise of Rehoboth film fest deserves attention

May 11, 2014

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society is a unique gift to the Cape Region. Unique because it informs urban, educated, and sophisticated visitors that this area has literary sensibilities not typical of a rural, agricultural region. The organization and its functions were born here, and bring to this community films from around the world which educate and entertain. Issues of culture, individual character, political and psychological dynamics are portrayed in more depth than in typical Hollywood offerings.


The annual festival and year-round programming provide the liquid literature of film to diverse local and visiting populations which create opportunities to share thinking and to stretch minds. Nothing, other than books, can offer an altered educative context, a new set of eyes that allow one to “travel” to life in a different time, place, and human situation.


Recently our community was shocked by the terse announcement that the one-venue annual film festival at Midway theaters would soon end after 15 years of productive collaboration. There are simply no other venues in the region that can provide the setting for a similar intellectual, social and educational experience.


This turn of events was reported by the Gazette in such a shallow, dispassionate and minimal manner which left more questions than it answered. It was just a notice delivered as a “story;” an announcement of the demise without ever mentioning a name or source, with scant information on the reasons for the termination.


There was no interviews of administrators, local citizenry, members of the theater, or of RBFS. It was a baffling notice, devoid of curiosity and human context with no hint of exploration or elaboration. Did not such a local dramatic reversal deserve some reporting? At this point only a couple of well-crafted letters from local citizens have suggested the level of loss. I, for one, am disappointed in this turn of events, and the skimpy approach of this paper.


Eric Kafka


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