It's been a busy few days for rebranding, with a struggling social media network changing its name on Sunday, followed by Halifax's major film fest following suit Wednesday. But unlike Elon Musk's dopey move—an X-tinction level event according to much of the Twitterverse—the Atlantic International Film Festival went in the right direction. Rebranders of the world, take note: This is how it's done.
“Returning to its roots, the Atlantic International Film Festival (AIFF) is pleased to unveil a new logo and brand for the organization. The rebrand focuses on the legacy name of Atlantic International Film Festival, accompanied by the initials AIFF,” says a release from AIFF Wednesday morning. Martha Cooley, festival executive director, goes on in the release to say “the primary goal of the Atlantic International Film Festival name and brand is to clearly and proudly say who we are, what we do and where we are from.”
You're missing something, aren't you? You're wondering what's so special about a film festival of international ambitions, which is based in a town on the Atlantic Ocean, calling itself the Atlantic International Film Festival. That's fair. What you're missing is the fest's 2017 rebrand, a Musk-calibre effort that took the then-36-year-old Atlantic Film Festival and dubbed it FIN.
Yes, FIN, all-caps. As in the French fin, the end of a movie. Or the aquatic fin, the end of a fish’s arm.
“FIN doesn’t stand for anything, but festival director Wayne Carter says its meaning is dual: It references Halifax’s connection to the ocean, as well as giving a nod to the closing titles of international films,” wrote The Coast in a story about the name change. That story also quoted Carter saying these words about why calling a film festival FIN makes such good sense: “For us, it’s an opportunity to clarify our message.”
In a world where search engine optimization is a concern to organizations that want to be easily found by that sliver of the public that uses computers, the film fest's URL was FINfestival.ca. The last time we checked, it was still listed as that on the festival's we-just-call-it-Twitter page.
But happily, that address is now just an artifact. In returning to its roots as Atlantic Canada’s most prominent film fest, the festival's online base has returned to its original, search-friendly address. “The FIN era served its purpose in bringing all the festival’s programs under one recognizable umbrella,” Cooley diplomatically says in today's announcement, “and now it is time to carry that momentum forward into the future under a familiar well-loved name and exciting new branding.”
The FIN-free film fest runs Sept. 14-21, with this year's program scheduled to be unveiled Aug. 16. You'll find the full list of movies and events at atlanticfilmfestival.ca. Right where it belongs.