If you’ve been to your average cineplex on a weekday night, you probably cast your eyes around the theater and found mostly empty seats.  On average, fewer than 5% of all theater seats have anyone sitting in them from Monday to Thursday.  There are plenty of contributors to this phenomenon, chief among them the constantly shifting and expanding options for watching films in our own home (or anywhere, with a laptop, smartphone or tablet).  Yet we all still love the excitement of being part of a large and engaged audience, together in the dark with a story unfolding before us on the silver screen.

The big studios are distributing fewer films than in the past, leaving theaters with little recourse but to replay the same films for weeks, on multiple screens, to an often empty house.  These films are often the multimillion-dollar budget extravaganzas that too often overspend on special effects and star power, and skimping when it comes down to the quality of the story and the heart behind the art.

But film-lovers rejoice–there is change in the air!  The industry’s most talented have begun focusing their craft on smaller, often independent or small studio films.  The theaters can’t afford not to satiate moviegoers’ broadening tastes, and want to capitalize on the diversity of visual content available by tapping new means of distribution.  Small budget yet artfully crafted, regionally produced films could soon find their audiences no longer limited to a smattering of festivals and art house theaters.

One of the goals of the Fairhope Film Festival is to help advance the momentum of the public’s increasing awareness and interest in the breadth and depth of filmmaking as it exists today.  It is beyond the reach of most of us to attend all of the film festivals taking place globally year round.  But we have the solution: our festival will bring the “best of the best” to you, gathering up the most notable, award-winning selections from the world’s greatest film festivals.  So join us this November as we dim the lights, fire up the projectors, and revel in the finest of today’s cinematic arts.