SANFORD, Fla. — Businesses in downtown Sanford are getting ready for movie fans, who are coming in from all over, for the annual Love Your Shorts Film Festival.
What You Need To Know
- The 11th annual Love Your Shorts Film Festival will take place in downtown Sanford this weekend
- Area businesses hope the festival will mean a boost for the local economy
- Considering the ongoing pandemic, organizers say they are expecting much smaller crowds this year
But this year during the pandemic, the usual economic boost from the festival, might not be so big.
After a difficult year, Kim Isaac with Rosie Lee Tea CO in Sanford, is looking forward to a busy weekend of selling tea and coffee.
“Everybody knows it’s been a really tough year and events like this — I think people are ready to get out,” said Isaac.
And over the next three days, movie fans will be out in Sanford.
It’s the 11th year for the Love Your Shorts Film Festival — a short-film festival that usually brings in a national, and even international, crowd.
With movie fans exploring and enjoying Sanford’s downtown businesses, it’s a big boost for the local economy.
“We get a very eclectic fun crowd here,” said Isaac.
But this year, with the pandemic, the crowd, and the boost, is going to be smaller.
“It has discouraged travel from outside the state and the country,” said Christina Hollerbach, one of the festival’s organizers.
She said usually the festival brings in around 2,500 people over the weekend, but this year she’s hoping for around 1,200 movie fans.
But to reach the audience that doesn’t feel safe traveling, for the first time the festival is also going virtual.
“You’ll be screening all for the same films everyone else is and you will also have a real-time ability to vote — just like anyone else would in the audience as well,” said Hollerbach.
Hollerbach is hoping for around 1,000 virtual movie fans to show up for the festival.
Unfortunately for Isaac, those viewers won’t be stopping in for tea or coffee.
But she says, even though the business boost may be a little smaller this time — after a tough year, she’ll take it.
“Even though it might not be as many people, it’s somebody coming in, it’s people coming in and we’re grateful for anything,” said Isaac.
Hollerbach said they will be following all of the pandemic safety precautions — checking temperatures, mandatory masks and limiting the amount of people in the theater.
If you want to buy tickets for in-person viewing or if you want to watch online, you can go to Love Your Shorts Film Festival.