Featuring short films by locals, the semi-annual film festival held by the JUMP Society is always new. This year, the society itself is new as well.
This summer’s films will include drone footage and vintage shots of Juneau that provide “a really neat perspective on what Juneau used to be like,” according to cofounder Pat Race. But this weekend’s event will be special for another reason: it’s the first festival since JUMP Society (short for Juneau Underground Motion Picture Society) became a 501(c)3 nonprofit, ushering in a new era in its 14-year history.
“Aaron (Suring) and Lou (Logan) and I have been doing this for a long time,” Race said, in addition to Jamie Karnick, who came on board later. “Right now if we stepped away from it, it would just kind of crumble and fall apart and we’re looking to build some stability into something that’s been a lot of fun for the community.”
But that’s not all becoming a nonprofit does. The most immediate change viewers will notice is alcohol for sale at the festival, something that was available when the screenings were at the Silverbow but has been missing since they switched to Goldtown Nickelodeon.
“It’s a lot more fun to watch these films with a beer, a wine or something,” Race said.
Race and his cofounders also have ideas like starting scholarship and production funds, bringing up more filmmakers to teach classes and get involved in the community, and maybe even a residency program. They’ve also been talking about renting a small studio space with a lending library of equipment and books and a permanent greenscreen and lighting installation that filmmakers in the community can use for a minimal cost.
“But those are all possibilities and I think there are a lot more possibilities we haven’t considered,” Race said, which is why they’re opening up the leadership to interested members of the community.
“We get a lot of people who request like, ‘hey, why doesn’t JUMP Society do this or that’ and my new answer will be, ‘great, join and you can head up that project.’”
Those interested can start by becoming a member of the new nonprofit’s board of directors. There will be a meeting at noon on Sunday, Aug. 14 at the Goldtown Nickelodeon for anyone interested. More information will also be available at the screenings.
The festival is at Goldtown Nickelodeon on Aug. 11-13. Screenings at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug 11; and 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12 and Saturday, Aug. 13. New films by Sonny Pittman, Mikko Wilson, George Kuhar of Playboy Spaceman, Sarah Betcher of Farthest North Films, Lisle Hebert, Tony Armlin, Corin Hughes-Skandijs, Ray Friedlander and more.