TIPTON, Iowa–The Hardacre Film Festival is taking a year off.
The staff behind Iowa’s longest-running film festival announced today their decision to delay the next festival until 2016 so the group can help with fundraising to save the festival’s namesake, the historic Hardacre Theater in downtown Tipton.
The nonprofit Hardacre Theater Preservation Association (HTPA) purchased the theater in February 2014 and has been raising money to renovate, restore and reopen the theater ever since. The group recently announced that the renovation will cost approximately $3.8 million.
Some Hardacre Film Festival staffers also volunteer with the HTPA and decided to focus this year on helping the group save the theater.
“It was a really tough decision because the festival has been going strong annually since 1996, and we want to keep that going. But we also really want the next festival to be held in the renovated Hardacre Theater,” said Will Valet, festival director and HTPA vice president. “The film festival staffers are going to put their energy this summer into saving the theater.”
The Hardacre Film Festival shows recent short and feature-length independent films from around the world. The 2014 festival was held in the Tipton High School auditorium as volunteers spent last summer gutting the Hardacre Theater. The festival typically is held the first full weekend of August, although last year’s festival was a one-day event to accommodate the high school venue.
The Hardacre Theater Preservation Association is planning a series of summer fundraisers while applying for grants and seeking private donors to help reopen the theater. The Hardacre Theater will celebrate its 100th anniversary in April 2016.
“The Hardacre Film Festival has built a loyal audience over the last 17 festival events, and we can’t thank them enough for their enthusiastic support,” Valet said. “The festival will return, without a doubt. We just need to make saving the Hardacre a top priority this year.”
The festival staff urge moviegoers to check out the many Iowa film festivals still to come in 2015, including:
- Interrobang Film Festival, Des Moines, June 26-28
- Snake Alley Festival of Film, Burlington, Aug. 6-8
- Landlocked Film Festival, Iowa City, Aug. 14-16
- Iowa Independent Film Festival, Mason City, Oct. 23-25
- Wild Rose Independent Film Festival, Des Moines, November
For more information on the “Save the Hardacre” campaign, go to thehardacre.org.