Festival was embraced

Attendance: Organizers of the Maryland Film Festival were pleasantly surprised by the numbers of viewers who came to the inaugural event.

May 14, 1999|By Chris Kaltenbach

It may be a while before the finances are worked out, but attendance figures from last month's inaugural Maryland Film Festival suggest local cineastes embraced the four-day event.

Attendance for the festival was approximately 8,000, says organizer Jed Dietz, well above the 3,500 figure he'd initially projected.

"We were well over our attendance goals," says Dietz, who figures he's about a week away from figuring out just how profitable the first festival was -- and how much money will be donated toward film preservation, as promised.

"I frankly had sort of hoped, as we got closer and saw the array of films we would be showing, that we might do 5,000."

Some other figures from the festival:

Number of $250 all-access passes sold: 77

Number of films shown (including shorts): 93

Number of filmmakers and presenters on hand to introduce the screenings: 61

Number of sellouts: 5 (although some films were moved to larger rooms, to accommodate more people)

Number of scheduled films that never showed up: 1 (a short titled "The Pitch")

Other festival news

The Maryland Film Festival will continue to present special screenings and theatrical runs of movies throughout the year, according to Dietz.

Attendees who want to be on the mailing list can visit the Web site at http//www.mdfilmfest.com and go to the "About the Festival" section. Or call 410-752-8083.

Pub Date: 5/14/99

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