The Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival all began in 1997 with a newspaper ad and a meeting of like-minded friends.
“I placed an ad in the Delaware Coast Press asking for anyone interested in starting a film festival to come to a meeting at Arena’s (restaurant), and we had about 30 people turn out,” said festival founder Rob Rector. “And from there we just jumped right in.”
With what Rector called invaluable help from Barry Becker, who had served as program director for the Washington D.C. Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Rector and his army of volunteers got busy fast. In 1998, the group put on the first festival at the former Rehoboth Mall with about 100 movies on six screens and an opening night appearance by Baltimore filmmaker and all-around personality John Waters.