SFF to undergo independent review

Results will create a roadmap for future festival management

SYDNEY -- The Sydney Film Festival will have its activities assessed by management consultants Booz and Co in an independent review aimed at helping the organization “create a blueprint for a sustainable and long term future," SFF president Virginia Gordon said Monday.

Gordon said the eight week-long review was needed to loom at the future of what’s one of the longest running festivals in the world.

The review will consult with relevant stakeholders, including SFF membership, representatives from the screen industry, major funding agencies, sponsors, audiences and partners., she said.

The move has been welcomed by the state government which provides funding for the festival and its Official Competition which started in 2008.

"As supporters of the Sydney Film Festival, we are pleased to be working with them on this review to assess all aspects of the festival to ensure its viability and relevance for the people of New South Wales," said Carol Mills, director general, department of arts, sport and recreation.

The review comes as organizers said that this year's, shortened 12-day festival, which ran in June, saw admission of 116,023 and an increase in daily attendances and ticket sales of 40% on last year. Total attendances fro the 19-day festival last year was 130,000. In recent years the festival has teetered between reporting a profit and loss.

Festival CEO Mark Safarty said that the 2009 Sydney Film Festival was one of the most successful in recent memory, and that even in a difficult financial environment it exceeded sales projections by 4.4%.