New Database to Provide Box-Office Figures for Film Festival Screenings

The Eurimages-backed Festival Box Office, which will officially launch at Berlinale, was developed in ideas incubator SOFA.

KARLOVY VARY — A new statistical tool for producers and distributors developed at an annual industry ideas incubator that will collect data on box-office numbers for films screened at festivals worldwide is due to be officially launched at the Berlinale next year.

The Festival Box Office database will aggregate festival audience and ticket data from the 4,000 permanent annual film festivals worldwide.

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The numbers will give producers more power when negotiating with funders for films of directors early in their careers who may not have achieved commercial exhibition and give distributors more information to convince exhibitors to screen art house fare.

Developed last year at the first edition of SOFA — the School of Film Agents — which was hosted in Wroclaw and supported by the Polish Film Institute, Festival Box Office is the brainchild of Miroslav Mogorovic, founder of Soul Food, a Belgrade, Serbia-based international sales and distribution company.

The project, supported by Eurimages, will also draw on statistics from a further 6,000 one-off or occasional events, which will help give art house producers, distributors and sales agents a more detailed picture of the commercial potential of films that may otherwise only ever be seen as showcase events.

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SOFA founder Nikolaj Nikitin, an expert on Eastern European film and a program delegate for the Berlin Film Festival, told The Hollywood Reporter: "Through accessing concrete date from film festivals, we can now see just how successful movies may be, even if they have not achieved theatrical distribution. This data will clarify for the first time the stable and growing festival audience for successful films worldwide."

This year's edition, due to run Aug. 15-24 in Wroclaw, and announced during the Karlovy Vary film festival, includes Hungarian project "Festivalised — Community Platform for Film Festival Guests," which will advise filmmakers on finding the right festival for their project, and Germany's "Directors Collection," a B2B system for connecting producers and world sales agents directly with national cinemas across Europe, providing a transparent system for both sides.