Local attendance at the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2010 has surpassed 2009 results by almost 600, reversing the trend of a small decline in Auckland and Wellington admissions this year.
Attendances at the Festival, which screened over two weeks at the Regent Theatre with further screenings at The Rialto, totaled 14024, compared to 13429 in 2009.
“We are delighted that our income hit target in Dunedin this year,” says Festival director Bill Gosden, “though it took more than the usual number of Festival-goers to achieve that. The attendance numbers are bigger than we’d anticipated, but Festival goers are definitely taking advantage of our popular five-trip pass so that the average price people paid for a ticket is down on 2009. We’ve experienced the same phenomenon in Auckland and Wellington. There’s no doubt that people are feeling apprehensive about spending this winter and figuring out the best deals, even on a cinema ticket.”
The success of the 2010 programme is attributed to a popular selection of films appealing to many different tastes, and to the perennial attractions of the city’s Festival venues.
“Dunedin Festival goers are amongst the best served in the country. The Regent is a superb venue. Several visiting filmmakers have told us they were astounded at how great their films looked and sounded there. And the video projection facilities provided for us at the Rialto by Festival sponsors The Video Factory ensure that the increasingly significant digital portion of the programme is presented to a very high standard.” Says Gosden.
Popular films in the Dunedin line-up included Banksy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, underwater documentary Oceans and Italian romantic drama I Am Love. Mike and Rosemary Riddell’s The Insatiable Moon and Clive Neeson’s documentary Last Paradise were the biggest homegrown successes, playing to full houses at the Rialto.