Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Information

Dear Friends,
Thanks SO MUCH to every person who voted, sent out a newsletter, posted a blog, forwarded emails to friends, posted on facebook, myspace, twitter, dig. Thanks to all our AMAZING team captains, members of the POTA facebook group, Hamptons Table, Dances With Films, The Valley Film Festival, Tribe Hollywood, Support Independent Film, Filmmaker's Alliance, Hollywood Mixer, Hollywood East TV, OurFilmSpace, Filmmakers Help, Friends on Netfix, OLS and to every other organization who helped.

I write this with a heavy heart. I'm really sorry to have gotten your hopes up again for nothing. Apparently in July, Ideablob partnered with an organization called Teach For America (TFA). It it now our understanding (according to the first place finalist's facebook voting page) that if any TFA Alum wins the Ideablob competition, TFA (on organization with over 20,000 Alum & Corps) will receive a gift of $5,000 from Ideablob. Needless to say, the finalists in both first place (leading by a potentially record-breaking number of votes) and second place are TFA Alums. All week POTA has been in third place -leader of all the non-TFA finalists by more than twice the votes.

Had we known that only certain finalists (excluding us) would receive a financial incentive to motivate vote-getting, we would not have entered the contest again.  And to make matters more difficult for us, it also appears that the finalist in first place (the one with the extremely high number of votes) was directly employed by TFA as "Director of Recruitment" until recently.  

I'm sorry to have gotten your hopes up another time. I honestly thought we had a great shot this time.  It's been a strange sort of parallel rallying for votes with the National Democratic Convention going on this week.  I really identified with hearing Obama speak of how it used to be that if a person worked hard for something, they would be rewarded, but America has changed.  
I  can't imagine that any two people could have worked harder than Jenn and I did, as we spent most of the past three months --beginning before June 1st--working full-time hours on this grant contest. For the heck of it I was going to count the actual number of individual emails. PMs, IMs forum listings, bulletins, phone calls, and the like I sent to people (not to mention all the thank-you's every time someone wrote to say they voted) which I believe may be well into the thousands. But I realized that would make me even more depressed, and I've spent waaayyyyy too much time on this already.  Needless to say, we are extremely disappointed, as I know you are. 

THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of your support.  Please know that we will still do whatever we can to move forward with POTA. It just may take longer than we would have liked.  I hope that one day soon our goal of creating a wide-reaching, highly accessible, free funding program for filmmakers and artists will finally become a reality.  

With love and Gratitude,

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