Thursday, May 31, 2007

New York Asian Film Festival (The Best Asian Film Festival in the States) Gets Screwed by Midway Games

So, the guys who run this film festival are very good friends of mine. The hard work and passion that they put into the New York Asian Film Festival every year is an astounding thing to experience-- and a yearly reminder that there are still decent folks out there who still do it just for the 'love'.

This year's line-up was absolutely stellar and had been made possible in large part to a major sponsorship by Midway Games. But as the press release below states, Midway Games rudely decided to drop their festival support without so much as a phone call. The complete and total lack of class and consideration is appalling, but the festival will live on in spite of such callous behavior.

But here's the thing for you to do: if you live in or near NYC you must go to this festival. The movies are awesome, the crowds are amazing and the experience is fantastic. The link to their website is on this page and I will post their (new) line-up just as soon as we have it.

Press Release begins here:

Subway Cinema never thought that the people who invented Ms. Pac-Man would
kick us to the curb, but a mere four weeks before the start of the New York
Asian Film Festival (June 22 – July 8), Midway Games, who had been working
with us as the festival’s presenting sponsor, have pulled out of the
festival entirely.

How did we find this out? One of our members was meeting a team from Midway
at the IFC Center so they could measure the lobby for the installation of
the video game consoles that would launch their new game at our festival.
They never showed up, and they never called. When we finally tracked them
down by phone in Chicago they curtly informed us that they were not giving
us the sponsorship money, the decision was out of their hands and offered
little in the way of further explanation.

The damage has been devastating. We had been working on press releases with
their publicity department, organizing parties to their specifications and
promoting their game with our good name. We had expanded the festival, paid
higher fees for movies, brought in out-of-town guests, and were planning a
number of events to be paid for with the money we had been told was coming
from Midway. Now we don’t even have a quarter left in the bank to soothe our
woes with a game of Tron.

But we will not let this festival die.

Already, we’ve been overwhelmed by offers of support from companies like
ImaginAsian and Magnolia who have stepped in and asked what they can do to
help. Our members are further alienating their loved ones by digging deep
into their own pockets to cover the costs of the festival. We’re currently
in the process of restructuring the fest and will announce some changes as
well as our full line-up and schedule on Monday, June 4.

We want everyone to know that Midway Games and “John Woo presents
Stranglehold” are no longer associated with the New York Asian Film Festival
in any way, shape or form.

But don’t weep for us. The festival is still happening because the New York
Asian Film Festival is like a zombie bunny made of love. It is unstoppable,
it is super-cute, it is coming for your brains and it will always believe in
the healing powers of the weird, wild whirlwind of fun that is Asian cinema.

But we will never look at Ms. Pac-Man in quite the same way again.

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