When Jim Turner and Matt Stevens were putting together the first Indie Spirit Film Festival last year, I asked them what it would take for the festival to be a success.
A sold-out opening night? A standing ovation? Robert Redford showing up?
"Someday, when I see a film picked up by a distributor and they use our laurels on their poster," Stevens said, "I'll know we've made it."
At the time, he thought building a reputation for their festival would take years. But already, one of last year's films, 13 Hours in a Warehouse, proves him wrong. In the top corner of its poster, surrounded by two golden-leafed branches, are the words "Best Horror Film: Indie Spirit Film Festival 2008."
"It worked. We've made it," quips Chris Loud, the newest member of the planning group.
Joking aside, Loud admits that simply throwing a second festival — this one featuring 108 films — in a bad economy is a measure of success. But the guys do want to achieve more. For instance, there's still the signpost Turner identified last year: "When we see a story about it in the Independent and people write in to say, 'That was the best thing to happen to Colorado Springs.'"
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