(Vicki Honeyman and her dog, Lucy at her store Heavenly Metal - PC: Courtney Sacco)
Each Friday at the Festival offices our intern team gathers together to work together on the upcoming Festival, make plans and discuss any pressing business. Last Friday, Vicki Honeyman, former AAFF Executive Director and dear friend of the Festival, visited the office to tell her AAFF history and to give our interns some perspective on how the Festival operated during the pre-digital age.
Vicki, who ran the AAFF as Executive Director for 15 years, almost single-handedly brought the Festival back from being on life-support to become the thriving event that George Manupelli had intended. While owning her own separate business, Vicki procured AAFF sponsorships, navigated operation logistics, and planned ad campaigns. And when screening time came around, she would meet with the screening committee every night for weeks on end to screen every single 16mm submission that the Festival received.
In the present day the Festival operates with more staff and intern power, and with the ease of digital processes. So Vicki's stories not only amazed the interns, but invigorated them as well. Our Video Production Assistant Ethan Voyles said that "...her knowledge of past Festivals is obviously, indisputably important not only to history, but for general guidance as well." Cydne Robinson, our Graphic Design Assistant "loved how proud Vicki is of the Festival, and how she dedicated so much of her life to continue a vision that George Manupelli, the AAFF founder, had a long time ago." Nicholas Grant, the Marketing Assistant, said "She not only provided an interesting historical insight into the Festival, but also presented herself as a future source for all the interns to consult on our current and future endeavors. And, she was just a hilarious person in general, and charismatic without effort. I can’t wait to reach out to her!"
Emily Martin, our Programs Assistant, was especially affected by the meeting: "After the meeting I felt inspired and even more passionate about film festivals in general. Through listening to her, I realized the enormous amount of work it takes to not only just keep the AAFF afloat, but thriving as well...As someone who is interested in film festival programming, it was nice to meet someone who was in the field that is personable, eccentric, kind, and honest because sometimes there is a fear of entering the film industry because of hierarchy...and ego gets in the way of things. But, clearly it doesn't have to be that way and everyone has a voice and a place of importance"