Film festivals have played an important role in stimulating cultural growth in Italy since the inauguration of the Venetian prototype in 1932, offering the public an opportunity for contact with different and distant experiences. The proliferation of such events on national territory as from the 1980s has made them a key channel for development of the audiovisual market and the boosting of local economies, giving rise to marked competition between festivals and the strenuous pursuit of financing.
In the present-day context of severely reduced public funding and a general cutback on private investment, the future of the film festival system is necessarily bound up with an understanding of the economic spinoffs involved and culture in general.
How is such value to be measured? The study presented here develops a model, applicable also to other spheres, that highlights the ability of festivals to provide stimulus for the local economy by triggering virtuous processes of increased demand for goods and services in the areas involved. This in turn means a return on investment capable also of attracting private backers, whose decisions are inevitably linked to a return, directed or indirect but in any case evident and immediate.
In order to complete the overview of the economic value of festivals, this time in more specific terms, attention is also focused on their technical role of the manifestations in the sector of film production and promotion, above all for independent films.