Industry’s largest live event generated unprecedented excitement, partnerships, and advocacy
The recently concluded 2012 Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) produced results never before seen in the history of fly fishing, further cementing their position as the industry’s premier live film event. With attendance breaking the 40,000-person mark (38% increase), total shows topping 131 (20% growth), and fly shop partnerships surpassing 200 stores, it’s a claim that is hard to refute.
“It was a great year”, said F3T co-owner Doug Powell. “For a small business, in a niche market like ours, it’s hugely rewarding to experience such phenomenal results. It reaffirms our core beliefs that by providing our audience with the highest quality, original entertainment, continuing to support and partner with local businesses, and committing to growing the sport of fly fishing as a whole, that even in a down economy we can thrive.”
The first core belief mentioned above is evidenced by the fact that this year over $325,000 in partner, sponsor and F3T goods were either handed out or given away to show attendees. It’s a staggering figure but the F3T’s generosity extended far beyond show attendees. By pledging their support to filmmakers, not only promotionally but financially as well, the F3T followed through on their commitment to improve the quality, and assist in the growth, of the industry as a whole.
“Paying filmmakers has never been a question”, explains F3T co-owner Chris Keig. “Each year we try to increase our support of them. In 2012 we were proud to pay over $30,000 to filmmakers featured in our event. But we also wanted to do something for the folks who just missed the cut, so we created the F3T Grant Program.”
Keig further explains the new program, “We recognized how far a few extra dollars can go in helping purchase new equipment, clear a song or buy a software upgrade. With the F3T Grant Program, and thanks to the support of Patagonia, we’re enabling aspiring filmmakers to bridge the gap from a good project to a great final product.”
In addition to the success of their events and support of filmmakers, this year’s screenings generated critical awareness and impressive funding for causes both endemic to the sport and beyond; all told, F3T events helped raise over $150,000 for charities and conservation efforts related to fly fishing. Notable beneficiaries included Trout Unlimited, Project Healing Waters and Rivers of Recovery.
“It makes you feel proud that something you have grown and nurtured over the years is helping returning disabled vets and recovering cancer patients to rehabilitate back to a more normal life”, Powell explains. “Give a person a fly rod, place them in an idyllic environment and allow them to experience the joy and excitement of landing a fish, and you’d be amazed at how quickly their worries and woes drift away for a while.”
Image courtesy Fly Fishing Film Tour