There is certainly more to this story, but both AFI and the Dallas Film Society jointly announced “completion of their initial three-year agreement.”
The release goes on to say “The DALLAS Film Society is planning its 2010 international film festival and expects to announce details over the coming weeks.”
The AFI Dallas Film Festival came out of the gate strong three years ago. With a massive budget for a first time event, they had always intended to compete directly with the big fests. The “jointness” of this release indicates a mutual separation, though at the end of the day, I would imagine DFS didn’t want to shell out the licensing fee to AFI.
Did AFI contribute to the fest’s launch by increasing the profile? Probably. Is it satisfied being just a platform to launch events? A quickie branding opportunity that can be dropped later? Probably not. Might be time to rethink those fees.