Steamboat receives film festival award from state |

Steamboat receives film festival award from state

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs, along with Salida, was chosen to be part of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s 2018 “Blueprint 2.0” Film Festival initiative.

“Artists are the original entrepreneurs as they disrupt thinking and remake whole industries, creating a ripple effect of new economic opportunities,” said John Bristol, economic development director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, in a news release.

Bristol spearheaded the application process, and he was joined in the effort by members of the Steamboat Springs Film Committee. The project will focus on “engaging communities across Routt County to plan and organize a niche film festival.”

Economic development is about diversification, Bristol said, and not to be confused with being only about business growth.

“It’s also about quality of life,” Bristol said.

Supporting creative industries and keeping artists in the community is critical to that quality of life, he added.

With the continued support of Bristol and the Chamber, the Steamboat Springs Film Committee will lead the initiative with technical assistance, expertise and mentorship from the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media.

While the final outcome is still to be determined, it is the community-driven conversation and bringing of people together that is the most important part of the project, Bristol said.

“So much of economic development is that community building,” he said.

Among the 15 other 2018 recipients who are part of the state’s Blueprint 2.0 effort, Hayden has embarked on a “Brand Building for Communities” project.

Last year, Bristol received a “Data and Analytics” award with which he is gathering information from businesses throughout the county.

“When budgets and funding are limited, you need to be smart – you need to be more data-driven,” Bristol said about economic development strategies.

Bringing a variety of projects to small communities across the state, the awards work to leverage state partnerships and specialized resources to address the unique economic development goals of rural Colorado.

“The Steamboat Springs Film Committee is very eager to lead this Colorado film initiative and further support film production in Steamboat and around the county,” said committee chairman Michael Staley in the news release. “We’ve got such tremendous acting talent and skilled technicians in our small-but-mighty local film community, so I’m extremely excited to engage everyone on this project.”

With a growing number of film festivals in Steamboat, Bristol said the project may lead to a new festival or may help expand an existing one.

Staley sees the project as one piece in a larger vision to grow local talent and infrastructure and to ensure Steamboat’s growing “community of creatives” can thrive.

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