Breck Film hosts Oscars preparty fundraiser |

Breck Film hosts Oscars preparty fundraiser

Breck Film’s Bubbles Over Breckenridge fundraiser is Sunday, April 25, before the airing of the 93rd Academy Awards. The virtual event will have gift bags for sale so people can host their own Oscars party at home.
Photo from Breck Film

Award shows have looked different in the age of the pandemic. Naturally, events tied to them will look different, as well. After canceling last year’s Oscars-themed fundraiser, called Once Upon a Time in Breckenridge, Breck Film is back on Sunday, April 25, with Bubbles Over Breckenridge. The nonprofit hopes to raise $15,000 at the virtual preparty for the Academy Awards.

Traditionally a gala called Hollywood and Wine, the event has been revamped the past two years to keep pace with the evolving nonprofit. The goal is less than previous fundraisers — partly due to it being a more casual, digital affair — yet the funds will help make up the difference from the cancellation and go toward more initiatives throughout the year.

“Before the last two years, Breck Film was really a one-off event, and fundraising was designated to support the festival,” Marketing and Development Manager Ashley Hughes said. “Now, fundraising is designed to benefit the festival and year-round programming. … Our fundraising has shifted because our bandwidth has increased so much.”

Those programs include the organization’s winter film series, Breck Film Society screenings and an internship program. Breck Film has also hired Mallory Gemlo to be its new event coordinator, and Amy Sides will remain as interim executive director through the year.

The money will support other general operating costs as Breck Film celebrates its 40th anniversary during another summer of drive-ins. According to Hughes, roughly 10 people are hired each day to install and run the technical operations of the portable movie screen while the licensing fee costs between $300 and $600 per film per screening.

The organization’s budget will also likely expand in the coming months. Hughes said Breck Film is in the early stages of taking over the operation of the Speakeasy Movie Theatre in Breckenridge, which has yet to reopen since the start of the pandemic, though contracts are still in the works and she couldn’t share additional details.

If You Go

What: Bubbles Over Breckenridge

When: 5-6 p.m. Sunday, April 25. The online auction is open.

Where: Online via Zoom

Cost: $25 for general admission, and VIP access starts at $100. The ballot competition costs $20. Prices for tickets increase the day of the event. Visit to purchase.

Though there wasn’t a fundraiser last year, Hughes said the nonprofit is in a good monetary position.

“Breck Film ended up in a pretty strong financial spot,” she said. “It has also been great that we’ve had support from relief funds from grants like The Summit Foundation and the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media. … It’s been very cool to have that level of community support, and I think people are really responding to the level of content and engagement that we’ve been able to produce through the pandemic.”

Hughes hopes Bubbles Over Breckenridge can engage the public in a new way and drum up excitement for the rest of the year. The fancy gala presentation is gone, but the fundraiser can still be luxurious at home with VIP gift bags.

The bags include festive table decorations, popcorn, movie theater candy — such as Mike and Ike, Milk Duds and Sour Patch Kids — along with a bottle of Champagne and Champagne flutes. Breck Film aims to sell 24 bags. Purchasers will be emailed a Breckenridge address to pick up the items, or they can choose to grab them from Locals Liquor in Silverthorne.

The public can tune into the livestream with only a $25 entry fee. That gives them access to door prizes and virtual fashion games for people who want to look like they’re walking the red carpet from home. Emceeing the evening is board member Gary Martinez, a longtime supporter of the film festival. His wife Phyllis Martinez died last year, and the 2020 festival was dedicated to her.

Hughes said the goal is to make it more active when previously people would mainly eat, bid, watch the show and go home. By having games beforehand, she said it’s more like attending the award ceremony rather than watching from behind the scenes.

“There’s a best overall dress and best accessory, which is funny because you could wear a really fancy top or tuxedo on the upper half and sweatpants on the lower and then still win the best shoe competition,” Hughes said.

Happening now through Sunday is an online auction with a wide variety of 45 items. People can bid for gear from Patagonia, Eddie Bauer and Thule as well as local restaurant certificates, golfing and skiing activities and more. Those who want a vacation away from Summit County can try to win island trips to the Caribbean.

“I think it’s a pretty solid balance of supporting local businesses in the county and engaging locals that way, but also some pretty extreme and cool ways to get out of the county, too,” Hughes said.

Accessible through the auction store, yet not exactly an auction item, is a $20 ballot for folks who want to predict the Oscar winners. The person with the most correct guesses will win a prize.

While it might be beneficial to watch the nominated movies ahead of time, Breck Film is allowing viewers to watch the nominated shorts after the event and through the end of the month. Tickets are $12 for each genre or $30 for all three. Visit to purchase access to the shorts and Bubbles Over Breckenridge as well as to view the online auction.

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