The 69th annual edition of the Trento Film Festival began in person on April 30. Coincidentally, that was around the same time that results of a survey about the future of Italian film fests was released. The survey was conducted in December by AFIC (Associazione Festival Italiani di Cinema), the Italian Association of Cinema Festivals, which was created in 2003 and currently has 83 members.

AFIC sent out an extensive questionnaire to 142 Italian film festivals, representing all events in Italy (see map). Execs from all of the 142 festivals took part in the survey, most of which are located in northern Italy (35 percent), central regions and the islands (19 percent combined), and in the south (18 percent). Of the sample, 32 percent have held more than 20 festivals in the past.

The summary of the survey’s results is that 87 festival organizers (or 61 percent) expect to hold hybrid (live and virtual) events this year, 54 (or 38 percent) will only host in-person events, and just one is planning an online-only event (see graphic).

Last year, 12 percent of the 142 festivals involved in the survey were not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while those held only as in-person events (31 percent) were concentrated in the period between July and October of 2020. The online-only (30 percent) and hybrid (27 percent) formats were adopted on a continual basis between March and December.

Online festivals were followed, on average, by an audience of between 1,000 and 5,000 people (24 percent). More than 50,000 people (19 percent) participated in 15 cases.

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