RIVERRUN ATTENDANCE UP IN 2016 Last year’s RiverRun International Film
Festival’s attendance was 16,205, and according to preliminary calculations, this year’s festival saw an increase in attendance of 351 to 16,556, encompassing screenings, parties and other events.
In an official statement, program manager and interim co-director Mary Dossinger said: “This was another great year for River- Run. We saw a bump in admissions over last year even though we had nine fewer screenings. More free screenings and our free RiverRun Family Day events resulted in a little less revenue, but we grew in other ways: Besides increased admissions, we screened more films than ever before, had 25 screenings sell out – 18 sold out in 2015 – and hosted more filmmakers during the festival. Our entire team is very pleased with this year’s festival.”
Just as important, according to Dossinger, was the feedback from audiences and filmmakers. “We heard nothing but incredibly positive feedback,” she said. “Our audiences seemed to really respond to the films they saw, and one of the things I thought was most wonderful to hear was that many of our filmmakers talked about how knowledgeable our audiences were about film and how they had some of the best interactions during the Q&As with various audience members. As a programmer, that makes us really proud to hear that our audiences are responding in such a positive way to films we have brought over the years and learning more about the art of filmmaking.
“We believe that the festival ran like a well-oiled machine this year and don’t believe there is much that needs to be changed,” she observed. “The only thing we have discussed is that we really want to continue our efforts to reach out to community groups and get them more involved by being screening partners, bringing groups of patrons to films that interest them, and generally being more aware of the festival.”
On a personal note, “I had a blast this year,” she enthused. “In fact, despite it being a lot of work it was one of my favorites in years. We had such a delightful group of guests this year, the staff was just so fantastic to work with, and it was a very smooth festival – so I was able to enjoy more of it than ever before. I was beyond satisfied with the entire staff’s efforts to pull together and make this such a fun event.”
For a complete summary of the 2016 RiverRun International Film Festival, including photo and video highlights, check out the official website: riverrunfilm.com. !
MARK BURGER can be heard Friday mornings on the “Two Guys Named Chris” radio show on Rock-92. © 2016, Mark Burger.