How will film festival benefit Edmonds? Founders can count the ways

Edmonds International Film Festival Director Trevor Greenfield explains the festival's benefits to the Chamber of Commerce networking breakfast Wednesday.

The father-son team that is heading up the Edmonds International Film Festival Oct. 20-24 visited their presenting sponsor — the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce — at the group’s networking breakfast Wednesday morning and shared some vital statistics about the economic benefit such as festival can have on Edmonds.

Edmonds Festival Director Trevor Greenfield told the group that each festival goer is expected to spend an average of $150 per day on direct services such as lodging, restaurants and shopping. “Many of you here are in the service industry, so you will see an indirect benefit when those businesses come to you to spend their money – so it gets circulated,” Greenfield said. “That money just keeps circulating, sales taxes go back to the city, and there’s a direct economic impact.”

The first-year goal for the Edmonds festival, with an inaugural three days of films at the Edmonds Theater, will be 500 local attendees and 500 outside the area. But the plan for the next few years is to add days (making it a 7- to 10-day festival ) and venues (the Edmonds Center for the Arts and the Wade James Theatre), and with that will come higher attendance and more financial benefit to businesses and the city.

Business talk aside, the festival aims to be a signature event for Edmonds. For starters, there will be a gala kick-off party the evening of Oct. 20. Three evenings of films and three days of workshops.  A book signing by radio and television personality Manny Pacheco, author of “Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History.”  An awards brunch. And oh, yes — let’s not forget the red carpet that will be rolled out for celebrities.

Sponsorships, the lifeblood of the festival, are being sold and businesses are encouraged to participate, Greenfield said. The festival needs many volunteers who will assist in all aspects of planning and operations. Most important, tell your friends, family and co-workers. Tweet it on Twitter, post it on Facebook and spread the word.

The father part of the father-son team, Fred Greenfield, is director of sponsorship, and anyone interested in becoming a sponsor can call him at 310-938-1466. To volunteer, fill out the contact form on the film festival website.

  1. I expect that this will turn out to be a very good event for Edmonds. Does the Port Townsend Festival really draw more that 1 million film goers?

    1. Ron – typed those numbers in wrong. Should have been 75,000 local and 25,000 from Washington. It’s fixed now.

  2. Since this is the first year of the Film Festival, it would probably behoove us to manage expectations. If the first year or two aren’t particularly well attended, we should be prepared, and not lose enthusiasm. Annual celebrations like this, especially those that draw much-needed families to Edmonds, are just what we need.

  3. Teresa, a pleasure to have such a wonderful media partner. Imagine my surprise to have covering my powerpoint and snapping photos!

    I do want to clarify the numbers though – 2,500 individuals and ~6,500 attendees at the PTFF in 2009, you can download the statistics on the internet. I think you are mistaking the numbers I was mentioning about Sundance. Typically Sundance will see about 50k attendees, and SIFF claims 145k+ attendees. I’m sure our sponsor Best Western Edmonds Harbor Inn would do everything they could to keep up with demand, but I don’t think lil old Edmonds can handle 50k attendees!

    Todd, if we haven’t met we should, I love the support, thank you so much, see you at the event!

    And you’re right, we’re trying to keep everyone’s expectations in check, “The Taste”, The Edmonds Arts Festival, and Rick Steves and even PTFF weren’t big successes in their first let alone second or third year. We believe we can expect a quicker growth curve than most having just built a nine day event in Sandpoint, but no matter what we will deliver a top notch event I promise you that. The people we are working with and the level of support is just phenominal! We love the Chamber, and we love Edmonds! Happy B-Day Edmonds! 🙂

  4. Trevor, the presentation I saw online about Port Townsend did not break down the numbers the way I had them in my notes, so they clearly *were* from a different festival. I’ve adjusted the story, for the records, so we don’t have an issue with people repeating them incorrectly.
    Next time, I’ll just ask you for a copy of the presentation.
    So glad you are here in Edmonds!

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