A Short History of NAFCo:
2015 and prior years:
- In November, 2015, the Group had its first monthly ‘Social’ at the DuBois Country Club. Those present included local Filmmakers, Actors, Crew-People, and a number of others with an appreciation for film and a passion for the Arts in general.
- The group began to hold regular monthly meetings at different locations including; the Ski Lodge in Treasure Lake, Isabella’s Fiesta Casa, Buck’s Pizza, Gateway Café, DuBois Diner, and other venues. In February of 2016, the name NAFCo, an acronym for the ‘Northern Appalachian Film Collective’, was formalized. The group filed as an ‘Unaffiliated Association’ with the State of PA and registered with the IRS. The group, continued to grow with members collaborating to make projects such as MAW Filmworks’ “Howitzer Tales” series and the “Iron Fist: audition tape” projects. NAFCo hosted its first “Rock’n’Reel Music & Film Festival” at the Ski Lodge outdoor stage in August of 2016. Musicians from across Western PA and the local area were brought together to play that day, and 2-hrs of short-films were screened that night – featuring many films from Northern Appalachia and from elsewhere around the world.
- The 2nd annual “Rock’n’Reel” was hosted at the DuBois City Park in the summer of 2017. Numerous sponsorships were acquired for the event, from organizations including: DACOTA (DuBois Area Council on the Arts), Buck’s Pizza, Gateway Cafe, Zwick Law, Life Coaching and Beyond, and other personal donations. The membership continued to grow, while the group continued to gain more support for its activities in the community.
- NAFCo’s “Monthly Film Festival Series” took place at the Reitz theater of DuBois, from January through June of 2018, featuring films such as Sideline Productions’ “Blood months Leaves”, Edward Frank’s documentary “Black Guides of Mammoth Cave.,” Aaron Dunbar’s “A Wish for Giants”, Matt Croyle’s “Potential Inertia”, the early 20th century propaganda film “Reefer Madness”, as well as a night of mixed-genre short-films. NAFCo hosted two Filmmaker Workshops with programs by Charlie Brown, a professional location manager, on “Location Scouting” and Edward Frank on “Documentary Filmmaking.” The 3rd annual “Rock’n’Reel” was hosted at the Lakeview Lodge in August of 2018, on the outdoor pool-deck overlooking Treasure Lake. The group also hosted a 3-day long film-festival at the Reitz Theater in Nov 2018, featuring both ‘feature-length’ and ‘short-film’ submissions by local filmmakers, actors and crew and from across the world.
- Through persistent effort and fundraising NAFCo successfully applied for and attained 501(c)(3) Non-Profit status in June of 2019. This allows NAFCo to officially present themselves to the general public as an arts-based non-profit group. In addition, it allows NAFCo to apply for public grant-funding for their numerous events and to accept tax-deductible donations. We continue to support the arts in their community, by creating a platform and social gathering of filmmakers, actors, crew and appreciators of fine film. The 1st annual ‘Halloween Horror Film-Fest’ was hosted in Oct 2019, at Bilger’s Rocks in Grampian, PA in conjunction with the Bilger’s Rocks Foundations’ “Haunted Hayride” event. In November NAFCo hosted the first of a planned series of “Dinner and Movie” events at the Gateway Café in DuBois. The initial event featured a film “Exorcism Prayer” by local filmmaker Ryan Cavalline and a question and answer session with the filmmaker. In December 2019 NAFCo will be hosting a short film exhibition as part of the “First Friday” event at the Winkler Gallery and Art Education Center in DuBois.
Plans for 2020 and beyond:
- Develop ‘NAFCo Kid’s Videomaking Club,’ a subgroup under our 501(c)(3) umbrella, to reach out to young and aspiring videomakers. Plans include monthly meetings, instruction, and group projects.
- Host monthly ‘Dinner and a Movie’ events that feature local/regional film projects.
- Develop relationship with ‘Golden Ticket Cinema’ in regard to screening local/regional films at their new theater.
- Host ‘Film Festival’ events such as “Rock’n’Reel 4” in the summer (2021), and the ‘Halloween Film Fest at Bilger’s Rock’s Haunted Hayride’ in the fall.
- Grow support and awareness of our group, our events and our position within the communities in our region, through further development of our relationships with other non-profits, as well as local businesses and government agencies.
James Andrew Neiger