The article originally appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer
By Greg Sukiennik
Gov. Phil Scott will help open the Independent Television Festival with a visit to Manchester on its opening day, ITVFest executive director Philip Gilpin Jr. told the Manchester Select Board on Tuesday night.
In a question and answer session with the board, Gilpin said Scott would be the special guest of a roundtable discussion on Oct. 11. The festival, which will feature independently-written and produced television pilots and guests including writers, directors and network creative directors and executives, will run from Oct. 11 through Oct. 15.
The festival has commitments for the use of 11 sites throughout Manchester and has commitments from about 650 show creators and industry executives, Gilpin said. He's hoping the festival will sell another 1,000 tickets, and says local residents are welcome to attend screenings and events and weigh in on which festival entries they like the most.
"Our audience choice votes matter," he said, adding he hopes Manchester develops a sense of pride that as the home of the only independent TV festival in the country. "We're the only community in the country that gets to do this," he said.
Gilpin also emphasized that the festival will only be the start of ITVFest's presence in Manchester. He said he's been working to establish an independent state film commission — as Vermont does not have a state film office — that would help coordinate locations and facilities for filming in the Green Mountain State. More details on those plans will be announced after the festival, Gilpin said.