Mammoth Film Festival organizers don’t see what the big deal is
Organizers of the Mammoth Film Festival finally returned calls to The Sheet (see “What’s in a name?” June 29) to explain the event and lack of concern for the event name being nearly identical to the acclaimed Mammoth Lakes Film Festival. The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival has earned a coveted spot as one of the Top 50 Film Festivals by MovieMaker Magazine.
“Just because the name is one word apart, it doesn’t make a big difference,” said Toomik Mansoori, a co-founder of the event. “Mammoth has a meaning too, it’s not just the name of a town or mountain.”
Locals (not Mammoth Lakes Film Festival organizer Shira Dubrovner) have started a petition asking the new festival organizers to change the name. The petition, which can be found at www.thepetitionsite.com, says that the Mammoth Film Festival will need local volunteers and maybe those volunteers could convince the group to change the name. As of July 19, there were 138 supporters with 2,000 needed.
Mansoori said there are dozens of festivals in New York and Los Angeles that have the name of the city in the title, and there is no confusion. He added that “Mammoth is growing” and can easily handle two festivals, if not more. Mansoori mentioned several times that Mammoth is a quaint mountain town only four to five hours drive from Los Angeles.
He said he was not concerned at all if there is confusion with the two names. If filmmakers mistake one festival for another, it’s the fault of the filmmaker, Mansoori explained.
He never answered the question of whether he was concerned with the issues the organizers the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival have—the name. Dubrovner said she welcomes a new festival, even encourages another festival, she just hopes that they change the name.
Dubrovner is investigating litigation against the new festival organizers.
Mansoori said he would not answer the question of whether two festivals with nearly the same names in a tiny town would make the town appear unorganized.
Other organizers of the festival include Theo Dumont, Daniel Sol, and Tanner Beard.
The Mammoth Film Festival website shows Mammoth Mountain, along with the Town of Mammoth Lakes, as being a “partners” of the event.
Jimmy Huh, Director of Advertising at Mammoth Mountain, said that to the best of his knowledge, no one at MFF has contacted the marketing department. He said MFF could have talked to other people on the mountain, but any partnership or sponsorship connections would eventually go through his office.
The festival already has some friends, like Paris Hilton, tweeting about the “epic new winter film festival in Cali!” Hilton tweeted that on July 7.