ALMERIA’S Short Film Festival is threatened by lack of Diputacion funds.
If enough money is not forthcoming, the 12th edition of the prestigious festival might have to be called off, warned the organisers. Only €31,963 is available, according to Maria Vazquez, head of the Diputacion’s Culture department, and the festival requires a budget of at least €110,000.
“It cannot be done on a scant €30,000,” Vazquez said. “It would provide a poor image instead of the one we want to give.” The crisis was the crisis, she conceded, but it was not normal to have had €600,000 available during other editions and then find that the festival, which was really popular with the public, was no longer viable because of cash problems.
The festival is the successor of the national short film festivals held in Almeria between 1996 and 2000. Thanks to the quality and impact of the work shown at the festival, this has become a landmark event for professionals and film fans from all over the world. “We are making a superhuman effort, going through invoices one by one to see what has been spent on activities, meals and other expenses so that the public can know where the festival money has gone,” Vazquez explained.
It is still uncertain whether the event will be held at a later date, or if it can be go ahead as usual next December. Should it be the latter, Vazquez admitted , the organisers would have to work to get everything “in quite a rush.”