Two days ago, the organizers of the New York Asian Film Festival sent around a mass e-mail announcing the sudden, unexpected departure of their main sponsor, Midway Games. Here's the first paragraph of the e-mail: "Subway Cinema never thought that the people who invented Ms. Pac-Man would kick us to the curb, but a mere four weeks before the start of the New York Asian Film Festival, Midway Games, who had been working with us as the festival's presenting sponsor, have pulled out of the festival entirely." The email goes on to state that the organizers of the fest didn't even know they had been abandoned until Midway representatives failed to show up at a scheduled meeting. "They never showed up, and they never called. When we finally tracked them down by phone in Chicago they curtly informed us that they were not giving us the sponsorship money, the decision was out of their hands and offered little in the way of further explanation."
The festival will now be "downsized," but apparently not abandoned, even though the email goes on to state that "now we don't even have a quarter in the bank to soothe our woes with a game of Tron." The NYAFF still has some degree of support from Magnolia Pictures, ImaginAsian and the festival's own organizers. If Midway has any kind of statement on this, they can send it to us at ryan.stewart@cinematical and we'll be happy to run it. Otherwise, I'd have to say that this sounds like a really poor way to conduct business.