San Sebastian organizers eye budget

Festival brought in $120,000 surplus this year

LONDON -- Organizers of the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain spent Wednesday mulling over efforts to reduce festival costs and bring in bigger audiences.

The board said provisional figures for its most recent edition, which wrapped at the end of September, are showing an €81,250 ($120,000) surplus.

That leaves organizers with a warm glow, because it means they've achieved their main aim for the most recent edition: Bring in a festival for a reduced budget of a little more than €6 million ($8.9 million).

The board also recorded a 3.7% uptick in moviegoers, with some 166,000 attending and theaters posting an 86% occupancy rate throughout the event.

Next year's edition is already shored up with San Sebastian City Hall, the Basque Government culture department and the Institute of Cinematograhy and Audiovisual Arts each pledging €1 million ($1.48 million) towards it. Gipuzkoa Delegation will contribute €850,000 ($1.3 million).

To help battle through the economic conditions, organizers aim to appoint a director specifically to run the administration and financial side of the event.