TampaBay International Gay & Lesbian Fil
Tampa Bay Arts, was an umbrella organization that had taken responsibility for the Tampa Bay Gay Men’s Chorus and several other activities, including producing the film festival. By 1999 Tampa Bay Arts had accumulated a rather large debt. The lender was trying to collect it. Tampa Bay Arts was discussing bankruptcy as a way to forestall the collection. Film festival planners feared that the money would just be sucked into that debt, which had nothing to do with the film festival. So they started their own organization to produce the film festival.
After two years of negotiation, Friends of the Festival Inc. (FOF) was formed and the film festival parted amiably from Tampa Bay Arts. The film festival was finally on its own, fully in charge of its own destiny. Friends of the Festival, Inc., is a non-profit 501c(3) entity, DBA the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
That first start-up year as Friends of the Festival, Inc., in 2000, Jim Harper, FOFs first Board President put up $30,000 of his own money to pay bills until ticket sales and sponsorship revenues started coming in. He ended up getting most of that money back over the next several years.
FL 33682 Tampa