Monday, September 28, 2009

Promoting FFFF at the AAI Convention This Weekend

We have registered as a vendor at the Atheist Alliance International Convention. The convention is taking place this weekend in Los Angeles. We will have brochures available, and will be networking with freethinkers from around the globe. This is an exciting opportunity for us to promote our mission and rally support. If you are going to be in attendance, stop by our table and say hi.

The next issue of Secular Nation Magazine, published by Atheist Alliance International, will include a promo ad for FFFF. I am not certain if it will be out by the conference, but it would be great if it is! The ad announces our Call for Submissions.

Speaking of which, a submission form is now available on our Website. We will accept film submissions starting October 1st. Our Withoutabox partnership is not yet activated, but will be available as soon as contributions and memberships increase and we have the funds for the activation fee...any assistance with this would be greatly appreciated. Withoutabox is THE place where filmmakers go to submit their films to film festivals worldwide. It is associated with IMDB and has an extremely large reach.

Andrea Steele
Chairperson/Executive Director
Freethought Film Festival Foundation

Monday, September 21, 2009

Expectation for the Eclectic

A printable (.pdf) version of this article is available at the following link:

September 21, 2009
By Andrea Steele

TAMPA— On the homepage of the Freethought Film Festival Foundation Website, there is a list of film topic examples that would fall under the category of “freethought”. It consists of a broad range of subjects, and many, many more could be added. At first glance, one might think that the only films that could touch on these subjects are documentaries. However, this is the furthest thing from reality.

Documentaries will certainly be among the film inclusions for the Freethought Film Festival; but the potential for an eclectic program goes way beyond. Independent filmmakers are some of the most creative minds on the globe. There is no doubt that the diversity of angles from which these minds take on the subject matter will be most impressive, entertaining and enlightening.

Some of the films will be non-fiction; some dramatic. Comedic approaches to the subjects, as well as fictitious story-lines and animation will be among the genres presented. The competitive categories for the Freethought Film Festival include Shorts by student filmmakers (either non-animated or animated), and Features by student filmmakers. The filmmakers who submit their films in these categories will be competing for scholarship awards. In the non-competitive categories, Animated Shorts and Non-animated Shorts are open to all filmmakers; while the non-competitive category for Features is open to more seasoned filmmakers. The films that best reflect the mission of the Freethought Film Festival Foundation in the non-competitive categories will receive Honorable Mention awards.

In a conversation with a leader of one of the largest freethought organizations in the U.S., it was disclosed to me that over this past summer, he was approached by freethinking filmmakers at least once a week regarding projects that they have recently completed, and/or on which they were currently working. They had no idea what to do with these films! Now there exists an opportunity for their work to be screened and appreciated by a growing audience of those who value a rational approach to life.

Film enthusiasts, regardless of their preferred niche, appreciate novelty as well as creativity. This novelty is one factor that motivates their viewing choices. It would be to the detriment of any film festival to pigeon-hole its selection of films to only one genre. (There is an assumption here that readers understand the difference between genre and niche.) This is why supporters and potential patrons of the Freethought Film Festival should expect a well balanced, diverse program. The freethought topic examples list is long, and the possibilities are immeasurable.

Andrea Steele
Chairperson/Executive Director
Freethought Film Festival Foundation

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Creation"...Too Controversial for America's Feeble Minds

When it was brought to my attention that Hanway Films was having difficulty securing a U.S. distributor for its film "Creation", I was disappointed. The plot of the film, as listed on IMDb is:
"English naturalist Charles Darwin struggles to find a balance between his revolutionary theories on evolution and the relationship with religious wife, whose faith contradicts his work."
A summary of the movie can be read at the following link:

Film distributors in the U.S. apparently find this too controversial for American film patrons. REALLY? This film already has distribution rights around the globe...but not here. Must America be consistently "lag-edelic" by being the last among developed countries to embrace social progress and diversity of thought?

An e-mail was sent to Hanway Films to request consideration for "Creation" to be screened at the Freethought Film Festival in November 2010. As of now, the production company continues its effort in securing a distributor in the United States. If a distributor picks up "Creation", then it would not be possible to screen the film at our festival without a lease. As much as I would like to screen "Creation" at the Freethought Film Festival, I hope it is soon picked up by a distributor and proves to be successful in a U.S. market that is perceived to be full of feeble minds.

If you would like compose an e-mail in support of this film, the e-mail address for Hanway films is:

Andrea Steele

Chairperson/Executive Director

Freethought Film Festival Foundation, Inc.

P.O. Box 3474

Brandon, FL 33509

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The FFFF Word is Spreading

The word about the mission of the Freethought Film Festival Foundation is starting to reach freethinkers across the country. This week, FFFF is the "Interest O' the Week" at! So, the folks at Evolvefish are now endorsing our efforts; as well as local, state, national and international organizations. The number of unique visitors to the FFFF Website increases each day.

This week has been spent sending countless faxes to potential supporters, replying to e-mails, creating literature and continuing to add content to the FFFF Website.

The Freethought Film Festival Foundation was formed to host a first-rate Freethought Film Festival. Make no mistake...this is not going to be an afternoon screening of a few existing films that might have freethinking undertones in a public library meeting room. This film festival is our only focus, so we can make this event like no other. The plan is laid out, the leg-work is being done, but we need the support from members of the freethought community to help realize this vision.

Andrea Steele
Chairperson/Executive Director
Freethought Film Festival Foundation

Sunday, September 6, 2009

On the term "freethought"...let's clear this up

There is a reason why the word "freethought" comes up as a misspelled word in every spell check. It is because the words in the dictionary sense are not fused together. Taking the word "freethinking" in a literal term instead of realizing that freethought (merged) for the purpose of FFFF has to do with questioning truth-claims (including questioning things that are considered sacred to individuals).

It is a common mistake when first introduced to the word. Many people have never heard the term "freethought" before and initially take the word, break it down and take it literally. "Well if I am a free-thinker, I am free to think whatever I want."...Of course we can think anything we want. (we just can't always say what we are thinking-another topic) What those people have not yet learned is that there is a "movement", if you will, of people who have coined the word "freethinker" in their own terms. The range of ideas of a "freethinker", in this sense, includes anything from investigating acupuncture, to questioning the existence of Zeus.

Freethought encompasses a broad range of individual ideas. There is a long list on the Home page of the FFFF Website of freethought film topic examples. Deists are freethinkers, Quakers are freethinkers, Skeptics are freethinkers, religious humanists are freethinkers, agnostics are freethinkers...the list goes on...The FFFF's mission is to "promote critical thinking, reason and freedom of inquiry through the medium of film".

Those who do not understand the term "freethought" after reading this blog or additional research about freethinkers; and still cannot get past the fact that freethought (in the actual, not literal sense of the word), includes the critical examination of something that may be sacred to her or him; then the mission of the Freethought Film Festival Foundation might not be something that individual feels he or she can's all good.

Andrea Steele
Chairperson/Executive Director
Freethought Film Festival Foundation

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Yesterday I spent 8 hours filling out form f1023. This is one of the forms that must be submitted for the Freethought Film Festival Foundation to be considered for approval of 501(c) 3 exemption as a non-profit, charitable, educational organization that would make contributions to FFFF tax-deductible for our donors. Although even after 8 hours of filling out the form and writing all of the necessary explanatory attachments, I am not yet finished...but I am close! The only part I have yet to complete is Section H. This has to be filled out since FFFF is going to be awarding scholarships to filmmakers enrolled in an accredited college or university or attending high school, whose film was selected for screening for the film festival, and is the best of the best in their category.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union has become an official endorser of the Freethought Film Festival Foundation. Their logo and link can be found on our Endorsers page on the FFFF Website.

Andrea Steele
Chairperson/Executive Director
Freethought Film Festival Foundation

Thursday, September 3, 2009

FFFF's 1st Film Sponsor

The Freethought Film Festival Foundation is excited to report that we have our first Film Sponsor. The American Humanist Association has agreed to sponsor a film in the Freethought Film Festival; tentatively scheduled for November 2010. AHA is very enthusiastic about the potential of this event, and has expressed the willingness to support us in other capacities as well. We are thrilled to have this organization assist us in our efforts. We look forward to involving others as well.

The Freethought Film Festival Foundation is in the process of registering the Freethought Film Festival with Withoutabox to use their platform to receive film submissions online. An application has been submitted, and we are waiting to be contacted by a Withoutabox representative so they can determine whether or not their services are a good fit for us.

Film submission fees and general guidelines have been added to the FFFF Website. We are not yet calling for submissions, but the call is coming very soon.

Jennifer Wiley, one of the board members of the Freethought Film Festival Foundation, found a great quote that applies well to the Freethought Film Festival:

"An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Today's FFFF Efforts: "Behind the Scenes" Circle

On this fine day I added the Freethought Film Festival Foundation information regarding the many levels of support opportunities to the FFFF Website. Also added to our Web presence is an extensive list of topics that would fall under the realm of freethought...I am positive that much, much more could be added to the list.

The Freethought Film Festival Foundation will be calling for submissions from student filmmakers at the collegiate level, as well as high school. The call will be for both features and shorts. The Freethought Film Festival will screen selected films from college filmmakers' features, college filmmakers' shorts and high-school filmmaker's shorts submissions. Scholarship awards will be presented to the best of the best in each of these categories. There will also be an opportunity for filmmakers with more experience to submit their films for a chance to be screened in our non-competitive categories for features and shorts. More details on film submission guidelines will be posted in the near future as we progress with our efforts.

Andrea Steele
Chairperson/Executive Director
Freethought Film Festival Foundation