Seal represents highest level in openness in reporting finances

Staff Report

The Central Coast Film Society has received a 2021 Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, a leading aggregator of nonprofit information. The Gold Seal is one of the company’s highest level of recognition, signifying openness in reporting institutional finances and performance. 

“Our support comes directly from our local Central Coast communities and so we, as a nonprofit organization, have a duty to be as transparent as possible for our supporters,” said Daniel Lahr, executive director for the film society. “GuideStar is one of the go-to places to check how nonprofits are doing, but GuideStar is also the way for us to be eligible to participate in programs such as AmazonSmile. That allows shoppers on AmazonSmile to support us with their everyday purchases.” 

Nonprofit organizations achieve gold status by providing extensive operational detail for their respective GuideStar profiles. The GuideStar database contains a profile for every tax-exempt nonprofit registered with the Internal Revenue Service. The Central Coast Film Society received 501(c)3 nonprofit status in April 2019, with a goal to provide local filmmakers and films a venue to call home, to foster future media artists, and to create opportunities to get involved in the industry by hosting lectures, screenings and eventually a film festival in the Santa Ynez Valley.

The film society has hosted several screenings of films that have connections to the Central Coast as well as a student film competition and talks with local filmmakers. In the fall of 2019, they hosted Central Coast native, comedian and “Star Wars” expert Ken Napzok. He just published a book, “Why We Love Star Wars: The Great Moments That Built A Galaxy Far, Far Away,” that also coincided with a screening of “Episode IV: A New Hope,” complete with 501st members storming the screening. 

The film society also started a podcast “Take 18,” which talks about all things film and media on the Central Coast with local filmmakers and documentarians, production and special effects directors, animators, stunt people, and many others that contribute to the industry. 

“We, like nearly everyone else, have had to adapt and change during the pandemic,” Lahr said. “’Take 18’ is how we can reach our supporters and still execute our mission. Podcasting is just the ticket for right now and allows for great interviews with industry professionals over the phone. It’s like our own little radio show!” 

The COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on the film society’s goal of hosting a film festival, however they did put on a fun drive-in movie experience with the City of Buellton showing “The Croods 2” film.

Plans for the coming year include a virtual film festival as well as more podcast interviews. 

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