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Time off from producing Reeling this year will afford the organization the opportunity to strategically plan for Reeling's future. Chicago Filmmakers will undertake such considerations as: a change in the time of year that the festival takes place; how the festival might expand or evolve to better address the changing needs of LGBT filmmakers; and what impact the conversion to digital cinema technology will have on our exhibition options. This kind of strategic planning has been difficult to achieve while maintaining the production timeline for the festival each year.
This all sounds rational and, given the changing nature of filmmaking and film exhibition, somewhat necessary. As I noted in my post on the Wisconsin Film Festival, the ongoing conversion to digital projection is having a major impact on festivals everywhere; it makes sense that Reeling would want to stay ahead of the curve. And as J.R. Jones noted in his review of Stephen Cone's The Wise Kids (the opening-night film at last year's Reeling), the increasing acceptance of the LGBT community by mainstream society means the festival now operates in a much different cultural context than it did 30 years ago.
Webb notes in her statement that the festival is open to feedback on how it should proceed. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions.