Home Arts Hope, effort couldn’t keep Film Forte on track for 2020

Hope, effort couldn’t keep Film Forte on track for 2020


Appleton actor Dan Davies had nothing if he didn’t have hope and confidence. 

But in the end, he — like so many others — couldn’t overcome the challenges that a global pandemic put in his way.

The Film Forte, home to the second annual National Independent Film Association Awards, was scheduled to take place in Appleton on Sept. 10-13. Davies, founder of the event, announced that The Film Forte instead will return in two events in 2021.

“You hope for the best and keep pushing, but covid keeps rearing its ugly head,” he said.

Dan Davies

Keep your calendars open on April 30-May 1, 2021 for The Film Forte’s first chapter — a film and music festival. Return on Sept. 9-12, 2021 for the main event, which will include the NIFA Awards as well as film screenings and live music.

The 2020 postponement wasn’t for a lack of effort.

Davies said it’s been more difficult to find sponsors based both on tougher economic realities and the uncertainty of any events in the midst of the public health issue. Safety also would require diminished capacities, which would make it tougher recoup costs.

Further, Davies wanted to ensure the safety of film fans. He was personally touched, having recently lost his father covid-19.

The Film Forte had a star-studded engagement on tap.

Legendary country artist Randy Travis and actor Gary Busey were expected to be on hand. Tracy Reiner, daughter of Penny Marshall, was to accept a lifetime achievement award on her mother’s behalf. Award winners Dewey Bunnell, co-founder of the folk rock group, America; John Voldstad, who portrayed Darryl on the TV show, Newhart, and The Black Donnellys from Dublin, Ireland were also slated to be in Appleton.

The inaugural Film Forte took place last October. 

This year’s event was initially slated for April 30 through May 3. Davies followed the lead of Milwaukee’s Summerfest in putting hopes that the storm would pass by September.

It’s a virus that’s had a mission to prove the optimists wrong. But the show will go on — once a little normalcy returns.

Davies is hopeful that with two events next year, celebrity guests would be able to reschedule to one or the other. 

He’s dedicated to adding his hand in ensuring the Fox Valley continues its incredible momentum as it comes to music, arts, film and events.

“North of Milwaukee, this is the place to be,” he said. “You’d hate to lose that steam because it’s taken years to build.”

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