Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Does a Bear party at the Phoenix?

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

As memories inspired by the 17th Annual Black Bear Film Festival (BBFF) lingered in the souls of all who attended the two day love fest for the art of film, a special Appreciation Party for those who volunteered their time and talents to the endeavor was held at The Phoenix House in Dingmans Ferry, PA on Sunday November 6th. Paintings of bears that were created by students attending local schools were hung outside the home to greet those who entered it. Once inside, the magnificence and splendor of the festival that maintained the homegrown quality of the town it was held in (Milford, PA) was echoed in the d├ęcor and ambiance of the abode where the party was held. Sculptures and wall art filled the eyes of the many visitors whose visions were released from the inner sanctuaries of their beings in order to embark upon a joyous visual journey of the senses.

However, the Optical Senses were not alone in the stimulation of awareness that was prevalent throughout the home. The delights found in the senses of taste and smell also flowed among the denizens of the home as delicious culinary treats were provided by the abode's owner, Doug Cosh, whose talents were recently recognized in the Milford Magazine. Conversation inspired by memories abound as those who attended made new friends while rekindling friendships established throughout the years. Door prizes were distributed among those who were given a ticket as they entered the premises and, after the festival's Executive Director Will Voekel and Volunteer Coordinator, Carol Needleman, shared their welcoming sentiments that included their deep sense of appreciation for all the gifts the volunteers bring to the festival, a number of mugs and hats with the festival logo upon them were joyfully accepted by their recipients. I got a hat. Yay.

More food, wine, memories, and love was shared throughout the remainder of the time spent together until the party came to its conclusion and everyone bade their farewells to one another. Yet, a reflection of reunion were embedded in their adieus as the hopeful certainty of coming together for next year's Black Bear Film Festival took root within their hearts. I shared their desire to meet again for the next festival and I hope to see you, too. You'll find more photographs taken during The 17th Annual Black Bear Film Festival's Volunteer Appreciation Party in The Does a Bear Party in the Phoenix Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10155438962978761.1073742034.91146283760&type=3.

The Black Bear Film Festival (BBFF) was established in 2000 and takes place during the third weekend of October. The 17th Annual Black Bear Film Festival was held from Friday October 14th to Sunday October 16th at The Milford, PA Theater www.milfordtheatre.com and The Pike County Public Library www.pcpl.org. The Volunteer Appreciation Party was held at The Phoenix House in Dingmans Ferry, PA on Sunday November 6th and is located next to The Phoenix Antiques, Crafts, and Gifts www.ukanoe.com. Both properties are owned by Doug Cosh. BBFF is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting exceptional independent films to the public, hold various events to celebrate the art and craft of film making, and partner with schools to inspire students to become filmmakers and aficionados of film. BBFF is run by volunteers and is sustained by members, sponsors, advertisers, and donors.

The BBFF Board of Directors consist of Will Voekel (Executive Director), Amy Bridge and Amy Eisenberg (Co - Presidents), Valerie Brairton (Secretary), and Tim Smith (Treasurer) along with BBFF Board Members Lenore Fasula, Amy Ferris, Bob Keiber, Timothy Moreland, Carol Needleman, and Jerry Weinstock. The BBFF also has an Advisory Board whose members consist of Babara Buchanan, Tamara Chant, Ken Ferris, Brian Gorman, Alan Kaplan, Wendy Stuart Kaplan, Karen Kelly, Maryanne Monte, Matt Osterberg, Sean Stub, and David Wallace. Many of these individuals serve as members and/or chairs on several of the committees that help organize and maintain the festival.

In addition to presenting films and offering insights into the art form, BBFF invites artists to participate in their Artful Bear Project in which sculptures of bears in various garb are created, revealed to the public during an Artful Bears Community Picnic, placed in front of business and other location throughout the town of Milford, PA, and are sold during a Silent Auction that takes place during the festival. The Black Bear Film Festival also offers workshops throughout the year to enhance the desire of filmmakers in their understanding of the art. Their next workshop is titled, “Script to Screen: Film Making for Young Adults” (Ages 14 - 18) led by Susan Barry, John M. White, and other members of The Saturday Afternoon Pictures’ Production Team on Saturday November 19th beginning at 1pm at The Pike County Public Library in Milford, PA. The BBFF invites the public to share their talents as volunteers for the festival. Their offices are located at 109 W. Catharine St in Milford, PA. Many positions are open and waiting for you to lend your unique talents to. You can learn more about The Black Bear Film Festival by exploring their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/blackbearfilm or their Website at www.blackbearfilm.com.

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