CRAIG PRATER PRODUCTIONS, INC.
October 20, 2009
To Whom It May Concern:
We, Craig Prater Productions, Inc. of Las Vegas, California, have been asked by Vuk Publishing of Los Angeles, with a subsidiary in Belgrade, Serbia, to help develop and introduce to the world a Belgrade 2011: Grand International Film Festival (BGIFF) that will take place in Belgrade, October 1-10, 2011. Because of the fact that we are working together to create this event, I was asked by Vuk Publishing's president Mira Panajotovic to write a letter telling all interested sponsors,- domestic and foreign- that we as a management company are interested in working together with sponsors in developing in Belgrade for $1,000.000.- a truly grand, and awarding the best in ten categories international film festival. The sum of million dollars will be provided by Serbia's private sector, as well as by some foreign firms with investments in Serbia. Our company will in addition to this amount, invest our money as well so it can be used in the areas of publicity and staffing in order to get the event started in the right manner.
The government of Serbia, the City of Belgrade and various ministries will not be expected to financially invest in the film festival. However, any contribution would be highly appreciated if they would help the festival by taking care of things they would do if any other event of importance would take place in Belgrade or Serbia. Thus, Serbia's government could help with security, the City of Belgrade with opening and closing festivities, while ministries like Ministry of Foreign Affairs with informing Serbia's embassies and consulates around the world about the event. The Tourism Ministry could promote cultural sights and folk handicrafts that would be available to the tourists. Furthermore, the Ministry of Diaspora could contribute by inviting Serbs from around the world to the festival, or to take part in it as sponsor/sponsors or volunteers, while the Ministry of Culture could promote pertinent information from their department. All the above government institutions are encouraged to only do what is within their area of interest, duty and their limited budget. It would be their decision as to how and how much they would get involved.
Convinced that a film festival can encourage Serbia's economic and cultural growth, its international stability and reputation, Mira Panajotovic began five years ago to get our attention and to involve us in Belgrade's film festival. With our brochures about how we develop festivals, she contacted in Belgrade in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and will do so again this year in 2009 most government ministries as well as many prominent private companies. Because of many A and B category celebrities and filmmakers who would come to Belgrade from the USA, she also went several times to the American Embassy in Belgrade and received an enthusiastic and promising response by the Embassy's Ms. Susan Elbows in 2006 and Mrs. Susan Delja in 2007.
My company, Craig Prater Productions, Inc., as a leader of the international film festival management companies, takes this very seriously. We have the top international programming team for films. We work with agents and publicists of actors. We work with local companies, corporations and individuals to assist them with creating international film festivals. We work behind the scenes so that the world and the local community know that the event is hosted and managed by the local citizens, local corporations and private enterprise. We train, educate and offer our experience so that ultimately individuals in the area are able to manage and continue the development of the event without outside assistance., Our administration teams are experts with many years of experience and will be focused on working with Belgrade's local team to train them as the future management team of the event. Our company is willing to make this commitment for a total of two to three years. By the end of the 2nd or 3rd year, Serbian experts will have the option as to whether they want to manage the event alone or secure our management group to assist Belgrade for another period of time.
For more than four years as president of the Craig Prater Productions, Inc., I have continued my personal interest in developing an international film festival in Belgrade. My interest has been supported and enhanced by my association with Mira Panajotovic who is the member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its six-year member of the Board (2001-2007). This association is composed of foreign journalists from all around the world. Together with the Dick Clark Company and the NBC TV station, they produce the popular Golden Globes Awards Show. Therefore, when Mira Panajotovic asked me again whether I would help her start an international film festival in Belgrade where we would be awarding the best international categories of films, actors and filmmakers, I said "yes". I was convinced that such a beautiful and historic city as Belgrade is - a city so well known for its great hospitality and pride of its heritage would be a perfect place for it. Belgrade can become not only one of the most influential festivals in Southeastern Europe, but in the world as well. Both of us firmly believe that this type of event is one of the best ways to reflect a positive image of a country, to boost an international understanding for Serbia and its people, to enhance Serbia's
My interest was again strengthened when I read a wonderful article in the Los Angeles Times (June 11,2006). This showed that Belgrade is ready to be recognized on an international level as a progressive city that invites tourism and promotes local cultural events such as an international film festival. We can help Belgrade do that. Our staff has access to new world cinema from all corners of the world. We have Hollywood contacts to assist with bringing celebrities to Belgrade to promote the event, and we have the publicity and management experience to make it successful the first year. For this reason, I would like to propose that next fall in Belgrade, in October of 2010, we host a World Premiere of an A category American film in order to launch the forthcoming Belgrade 2011: Grand International Film Festival to be held from October 1 to 10, 2011. After this event and before the BGIFF in October, 2011, an aggressive marketing of the festival will continue - the festival will be marketed at the Berlin, Cannes and other world festivals. For this reason the nine-day Belgrade 2011: Grand International Festival will be able to bring to this city the A category actors, as well as an estimated 75-80 international films, will also include discussion groups, seminars and panels about the filmmaking opportunities in Serbia and much more. The event will continue business growth even when the film festival is not in town. During the film festival, we will also assist with a development of a local film society which will continue as a local cultural organization during the year until the following year's festival. Because of our Hollywood contracts with agents and publicists of film celebrities, we will be responsible to securing a given number of celebrities to attend the event which will cause the international media to focus on Belgrade and Serbia. May I also point out that we have access to all members of the international press to whom we would issue the invitations to attend the event.
The first year working with Belgrade's group, we would want them to secure the theatre locations, hotel commitments and assistance with airline companies in which Belgrade prefers that we work. We would look to Belgrade to staff the event in its own city. It is this group that our team will work closely with to make experts in the area.
Because timing is of the utmost importance, we need an immediate response so that we can move quickly to begin the work that is needed. Because of the urgency of the timing, we would appreciate Belgrade's response as soon as possible so that we can make the arrangements as needed for travel, so that we can finalize the project and to specifically establish our firm's commitment to you.
Thank you for your consideration of our proposal.
Craig Prater Productions, Inc.