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Laurie Pederson, known in Sacramento as a leader in the film community and the executive director of the Capital Film Arts Alliance, was honored with the 2012 Film Service Award on Wednesday, August 15, 2012, at the opening of the Sacramento Film and Music Festival at the Crest Theatre.
"She is amazing," said Cécile Mouette Downs, Executive & Artistic Director and co-founder of the Sacramento French Film Festival who introduced the Sacramento Film and Music Festival's Film Service awardee. Downs specifically noted Pederson's work building the Capital Film Arts Alliance and helping local filmmakers. "Laurie is dedicated to local filmmaking," said Downs.
Members and friends of the Capital Film Arts Alliance know Laurie's dedication to local filmmaking. She's at every monthly "Third Tuesday" meeting of the Capital Film Arts Alliance. She attends almost all the film festivals and film-related events in the Sacramento region. She goes to as many screenings and announcements of local film as she can. She helps with the monthly script-readings/screenplay workshops from the CFAA. And she is the voice behind the CFAA's weekly eNewsletter that keeps over 1,000 creative people in the Sacramento region informed about filmmaking news, casting needs, crew calls, and other key information.
"Sacramento has a tremendous amount of filmmaking talent, and a pool of film-related workers that gets bigger and bigger each year because of Laurie's efforts," said Mary Beth Barber, board member of the CFAA. "Part of Sacramento's creative success is because the filmmaking community is extremely entrepreneurial. Local filmmakers share information and best practices – all the technical, creative and administrative parts of the craft -- through the Capital Film Arts Alliance. And the CFAA wouldn't exist without Laurie."
Pederson's work extends beyond being the public face of the organization, notes Barber. "There is a ton of work that goes on behind the scenes to plan and operate the Capital Film Arts Alliance, from budgeting, to nonprofit paperwork, to the hours of basic administrative work that needs to be done," said Barber. "The bulk of this work is done by Laurie. With her determination building a thriving filmmaking community in Sacramento, a film-service award for her has been long overdue."
The CFAA has gained national recognition due to Pederson's work. "SMALL BUDGET, BIG REACH" reads the sub-headline about the Capital Film Arts Alliance in California Arts and Cultural Ecology, a report commissioned by the Irvine Foundation about California arts and creative organizations. "Sacramento-based Capital Film Arts Alliance provides networking support for local actors, filmmakers, and writers of all ages and skill levels," notes the report. "Through monthly meetings, workshops, and script readings, the Alliance has built a dynamic and talented film community, reaching thousands of people while spending less than $5,000 a year."
This isn't the first award Pederson has received for her work with the Capital Film Arts Alliance. The Sacramento Arts and Business Council awarded her the "Volunteer of the Year" award in October 2009 at their annual "Prelude to the Season" event. Pederson's work building the CFAA and local filmmaking community was noted then as well. Since then, Laurie's dedication to local filmmaking and filmmakers has only gotten stronger.
"Sometimes I'm asked 'Why do I do it,'" said Pederson when she received the Sacramento Film and Music Festival award on the stage at the Crest Theatre last week. "I do it because I love it. I love the people, I love the craft – Sacramento is a great place for filmmaking. That's why I do what I do."
NOTE: Photos from the Sacramento Film and Music Festival provided by Rich Baum Photography as noted. All rights reserved. More information at www.richbaum.com.