San Sebastian Film Festival Boosts Local Economy by $24 Million, Study Says

Getty Images
Carmen Maura will receive the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's festival.

Direct festival spending and a tourism bump in late September help the Spanish city and its surrounding areas.

MADRID – The San Sebastian Film Festival, running Sept. 20-28 in the Basque seaside city, estimates that its 226 films screened for a total audience of 150,000 cinemagoers brings in around $23.7 million (€18.2 million) for the local economy.

STORY: San Sebastian to Honor Carmen Maura With Lifetime Achievement Award

According to a study by Basque consulting firm Ikertalde on the festival's financial impact, around 85 percent of the budget -- last year's budget amounted to $9.75 million (€7.5 million) -- is spent in the San Sebastian area. In addition, the report said, the festival prolongs the vacation season through September, generating another $15.5 million (€11.9 million) in hotels and other tourism-related income.

Various public administrations provide around 56 percent of the festival's financing, including $1.3 million (€1 million) from the San Sebastian city council. The rest comes from sponsors.

This year, Spanish actress Carmen Maura, a favorite of director Pedro Almodovar, will receive the Donostia lifetime achievement award. Maura, best known in the U.S. for her starring role in Almodovar's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, will receive the award at the screening of Alex de la Iglesia's comedy Witching and Bitching, which stars Maura and will show out of competition.

comments powered by Disqus