Midway festival decision breaks my heart

May 9, 2014

Recent news of the decision by Midway Theater owner Tiffany Derrickson to reduce the number of theaters available for this years festival and to withdraw from the festival entirely in 2015 has broken my heart. We have enjoyed attending the festival for the past 15 years, planning our entire fall around attending as many movies as possible: personal best is 16 in 4 days! We enjoy meeting friends and neighbors in the tent between shows, discussing movies and sharing ideas. It is a joy for a magic day or two to be part of a community of movie lovers. This is key for all of us: community activities that bring people and ideas together.

Ms. Derrickson is to be highly commended for her vision and courage in enabling this community event to flourish. Her decision to end this support saddens and puzzles me. It seems in stark contrast to the enthusiasm, innovation and commitment to community that she has previously shown to the festival and to the community. A community, that I might add, gladly supports the Midway theaters during in year in gratitude for her willingness to support the film festival.

At a time when quality movies are increasingly hard to find, the festival has given us days of quality independent films on a variety of subjects, opening us and connecting us to the world as only the magic of film can.

The economic value of the film festival is huge, the value to the community enormous, the richness, quality and variety of films shown greatly enriches the artistic and intellectual life of all who attend. This event puts Delaware on the map as a destination in the offseason. Please help me understand the reasons behind this abrupt change in policy?

I also have to add on a personal note that I am a member of a Movie Club that monthly selects a movie to watch and discuss. We prefer to see the movie locally but many months are forced by lack of quality films or independent films to resort to Netflix or AppleTV. I would like to add a personal plea for more independent movies and more quality films! And a strong personal plea to please please please continue the support of the Rehoboth Beach Film Festival!

Sally Packard

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