SkyTics headed to the Zermatt Resort located in the beautiful Wasatch mountains this January to attend the 5th annual Art House Convergence. As a first time sponsor of the event, SkyTics had the privilege of meeting with Art House Theatres from all over the country. Also in attendance were numerous film distributors as well as film producers, and film equipment suppliers.
The event was well organized offering time slots filled with informative sessions on everything from programming and fundraising to learning about the latest in technological innovations that are changing the face of cinema as we know it. Round table discussions were held during the lunch hour focusing on the issues and challenges faced by art houses in an era of a dwindling donation base coupled with fierce competition for a shrinking amount of entertainment spending.
The Art House Convergence impressed us as a true meeting of the minds and exploration of the passions that surround independent films today. These theatres tend to be locally owned and operated, and mission driven weaving them into the cultural fabric of their communities in a truly unique way. The Art House Theatre clearly appeals to a different type of movie enthusiast entirely than the movie theater chains that market the big budget blockbuster movies. Seeing an independent film in an art house offers an experience that is much more intimate and evocative in both subject matter and atmosphere than your typical trip to the cinema.
I was stunned by the number of movie posters and trailers playing in the common room that piqued my interest. Most of these films I had never heard of, and yet found myself going back to look at the posters over and over again. I definitely have a list of new "must sees" for the next couple of months. Many of the Art House Convergence attendees continued on to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT, which followed. Next year SkyTics plans to not only attend the Art House Convergence, but the Sundance Film Festival as well. Who knows, we may be championing our own favorite independent film come next year!