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After a decade of shepherding the Rosebud Film and Video Awards, Executive Director Natasha Reatig is stepping down, passing the sled. “I am, as they say, burnt to a crisp,” she laughs.
“It’s sort of like raising a daughter who’s ready for marriage, ready to go out on her own,” Reatig says. “I think I felt too protective.” The festival “needs a chance to flourish on its own.” Rosebud, she says, “was at the point where it could benefit from new, good, fresh ideas, new contacts.”
To that end, Reatig and the board of directors accepted the proposal from Arlington Community Television (ACT) to become the new home for the annual showcase.
“ACT offered young, dynamic leadership,” says Reatig of the decision, adding that the Northern Virginia cable outfit has “won two awards for outstanding leadership” in the cable industry.
In addition, says Reatig, ACT caters “to the same group of emerging filmmakers, and also they have the benefit of all that editing equipment and that studio.”
Indeed, says ACT’s Paul LeValley, “Every entrant, if they want, can receive a free year’s membership in ACT. They can use Channel 33 as another venue for their work. They can also choose to work out of this facility.”
“And that’s a $15 value,” he adds.
LeValley, who will become the new Rosebud executive director, promises that the change will be “transparent.” “In essence, it’s precisely as it was before,” he says.
Reatig is not entirely abandoning the local film and video scene. “One thing I’m engaged in now is fighting Filmfest D.C. so that it opens its arms to locally produced films,” she says, noting that the annual film festival has a policy of excluding any film that has screened in the D.C. area. “It’s bloody unfair,” she says. “Basically, Filmfest D.C. should embrace [local filmmakers] with long, loving arms.”
“Because I have nothing to lose now, I can jump into this fray,” she says.
Other than that, Reatig is doing a lot of reading. “No more TV or movies,” she says. —Dave Nuttycombe