Social Benefits of Film Festivals

In early 2020 the world started to suffer from the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Pandemic. Social distancing measures are now in place that have effectively obliterated the idea of film festivals in the normal sense.

So, I want to talk about the social benefits of film festivals. To an outsider a film festival is just a place to showcase your work. Insiders know, however, there’s a lot more to it.

Film Festivals have long been a safe haven for the outcasts. A place where those on the fringe of societal norms can find a home. From alternative cultural practices to marginalized minorities, film festivals welcome everyone.

There are enough film festivals in the world now that everyone, from the fringe way-out-there films to the down-to-earth standards can find a place. So with all of that new found availability, there also comes the social benefits of the film festival.

Local communities can boom during a large enough festival. They encourage younger people to get into the towns and explore local flavor. Thousands of jobs are created during planning and operational phases and millions of dollars can be spent in the local economy.

I’m an Indie Film Evangelist. I’ve always touted the work of the independent filmmaker because I love to see the out of the box projects they come up with. Film Festivals are a way for me to connect with like minded people. They can also be a themed force to drive a social narrative on just about any topic from LGBTQ to Income Inequality.

Regardless of the theme, Film Festivals have a huge opportunity to impact their communities. But (to quote Spiderman) with great power comes great responsibility. Film Festivals should measure their attendance and success against the impact of their audience. There’s been many instances in the past where festivals have caused a great disruption in the local economy.

Film Festivals need to take their roles seriously. Not just as a means of showcasing new and upcoming work but also as a economic engine that can drive trends for decades to come. Understanding the social benefits of film festivals is a key step in organizing and maintaining a productive event.

Check out what we’re doing with Film Festivals this year here.

About Justin Kincaid

Justin is the host of Film Fervor and a passionate lover of independent entertainment. Indie films are where people can truly express themselves and Justin believes that there are too many limitations on "mainstream" movies to be able to tell good stories.

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