Monday, July 26, 2010

Film fest fund raising and ticket prices

We have followed the development of the film festival's new Lightbox headquarters, almost since it's inception (feasibility study in 2002; announced as 'Festival Centre' in 2003).

Since then, the film-festival has been fund-raising towards their goal of $196 million. As of June 15th, 2010:
  • they have raised $171 million – 87% – with $25 million remaining:

    $13 million capital / building budget

    $8 million operation funding

    $4 million in endowments (expected to be raised after the film festival)
There are a number of initiatives underway to raise these remaining amounts:
  • naming rights to various portions of the Lightbox building,
  • extended marketing partnerships with major contributors,
  • and advance ticketing privileges for individual donors.
As well, the festival has been revising it's criteria for 'premium' screenings:
  • originally called 'gala' screenings, and only at Roy Thomson Hall,
  • later, including 'Visa screening room' (Elgin theatre) presentations,
  • and now recently extended, to any venue with a 'red carpet' premiere.
Some have applauded the move, for more red carpet screenings — allowing smaller films to attract more attention from the media — but, there has been backlash; and last year voices were raised. Perhaps Roger Ebert put it best: "The festival is what you make it."

Also, new ticket prices have been announced for 2010:
  • $24.75 — regular, single ticket order ($19.69 + HST + bldg fee + order fee)
  • $45.75 — 'premium', single ticket order ($38.27 + HST + bldg fee + order fee)
  • $17.00 — children, single ticket order ($12.83 + HST + bldg fee + order fee; 12 years and under, "Sprockets Family Zone" only)
Recently, The Toronto Star featured the film festival's new advertising creative for 2010:

What will you see?
Indeed, helping you pick the best of the fest – whatever your budget – is what we're all about! ;-)

Pick the best of the fest,

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