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Industry / Market - Italy

Industry Report: Film Festival Trends

The Association of Italian Film Festivals' research confirms the future of festivals is hybrid

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The AFIC has explained its findings over the future of film events, which confirm the vitality of a sector which has contended with the health crisis more effectively than any other

The Association of Italian Film Festivals' research confirms the future of festivals is hybrid
The participants at the virtual conference entitled “Festival Locations of Tomorrow”

One festival in three claims that hosting an online edition has led to an enhancement of their programmes and/or raised the profile of their event. And no less than 62% of festivals stated that they envisaged a hybrid form for their next edition. These are just a couple of the facts to come out of the questionnaires sent to 142 Italian film festivals back in December 2020 (read our news) by the AFIC – the Association of Italian Film Festivals, with the support of the Italian Ministry for Culture’s Film and Audiovisual Department (the full results of the survey can be downloaded here).

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Last year, 12% of the 142 festivals which took part in the survey were cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 emergency, while those which only unfolded in person (31%) were held in the period spanning July and October. Online only formats (30%) and their “hybrid” counterparts (27%) were adopted on a continual basis between March and December. 62% of film festivals could be accessed free of charge and, in 57% of these cases, bookings/registrations were required to access the event.

Out of a sample of 79 festivals which unfolded online and hosted film screenings, the top 5 SVOD platforms used were MYmovies (41%), Vimeo (12%), proprietary platforms (10%), Opendbb (6%) and FesthomeTV (5%). 72% of these films were limited to certain territories with 74% of these restricted to Italian soil.

Out of the various festivals analysed, 43% incurred costs in excess of €10,000 as a result of holding an online version of their event. 49% of the payable festivals recorded an increase in their earnings from films on the previous year. 75% of festivals claim to have lost or seen a reduction in private funding compare to the previous year. In most cases (70%), sponsors attributed the withdrawal of their backing to the health crisis, while the government and local authorities showed greater care and sensitivity, confirming their support more often than not.

The AFIC presented the outcome of its research in a virtual conference entitled “Festival Locations of Tomorrow”, organised with the support of the Italian Minstry for Culture’s Film and Audiovisual Department (DGCA – MiC), in collaboration with Atlantica Digital Spa. Various experts, researchers and stakeholders from outside of the festival system took part in the event, including Guido Guerzoni (Bocconi University), Lisa Giovannitti (an analyst at Formules), Mauro Antico (of Atlantica Digital Spa Group), Gianluca Guzzo (the founder and CEO of MyMovies, a platform which has lent its services to upwards of 100 Italian festivals over the past year), Carla De Carolis and Marcello Mustilli (legal experts in rights management), Roy Menarini (Professor of Film and Cultural Management at Bologna University), Nicola Borrelli (Film and Audiovisual Director General at the MiC), Tiziana Gibelli (Co-ordinator of the Italian National-Regional Culture Committee), Laura Delli Colli (President of the Association of Italian Film Journalists, the SNGCI) and Alessandro Raja (Festival Scope). “Saturday’s gathering once again proved the solidarity of the sector and the attentiveness of our institutions”, enthused AFIC president Chiara Valenti Omero. “Now we face a new challenge for the future, which involves greater collaboration with the individual regions and with the AFIC itself, in the belief that the next measures we develop alongside MiC’s DG Film should be fundamental in guaranteeing a future of renewal for the entire film promotion sector.”

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(Translated from Italian)

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