Founded in 2003, the Asheville Film Festival was on hiatus for 2010, as the City Council, which oversaw it's operation and funding, decided the event's fate. The writing was already on the wall last week as the proposed 2011 budget included no funding for the fest.
In today's council meeting the Asheville City Council made it official and voted 6-0 to end the film festival and also voted 6-0 to allow the staff to decide how to dispose of the brand.
There had been talk of two local Asheville filmmakers, Tom and Sandi Anton, taking the fest over. However, the Anton's had already announced that they had opted to start their own festival, the Asheville International Film Festival. The Anton's plans were reiterated by this tweet from David Forbes who was covering the council meeting and live tweeting:
Filmmaker Tom Anton, who's creating Avl Intl Film Festival: "Not interested in obtaining logo or website from city," #avlgov
Any hopes of a third party taking over the festival's current assets and revitalizing the festival seem to be effectively dead.
According to a 2009 Mountain Xpress writeup on that year's fest, Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts organizers had cut "the traditional special guests and red-carpet ceremonies," opting to put more focus on the films themselves. The only two major events for the 2009 fest included the premiere reception and a Saturday night awards party.
Update 10:22 PM - David Forbes tweeted this to me: Worth noting that city still deciding how to sell off copyright, and there are some interested buyers. So the Asheville Film Festival could still find a second life in private, instead of public, hands.