Turin Film Fest Sees Ticket Sales Increase Again, Despite Weak Economy

Turin artistic director Paolo Virzi

The 31-year-old event, and the only one of Italy's largest festivals to see back-to-back increases in ticket sales, previously complained that proximity to the Rome Film Festival would hurt sponsorship and media attention.

ROME -- The Turin Film Festival saw ticket sales rise for the second consecutive year, the Italian media reported Tuesday, the only one of Italy's largest festivals to see back-to-back increases in ticket sales despite the country's moribund economic climate.

The 31-year-old festival closed Nov. 30 with Club Sandwich from Mexico's Fernando Eimbcke taking home the main prize, while 2 Autumns 3 Winters (2 automnes 3 hivers) from Sebastian Betbeder won the jury prize and The Mafia Only Kills in Summer (La mafia uccide solo d'estate) from Pif -- the pen name for Pierfrancesco Diliberto -- winning the audience award. Samantha Castillo and Gabriel Arcand won the acting prizes.

Tuesday, it was revealed that the festival sold more than 92,000 tickets over nine days -- a total that's less than the 100,000-level organizers said they were hoping for before the event got underway, but still well above the 80,000 tickets sold last year.

In 2013, Italy's biggest festivals -- Venice, Rome, Turin, and Taormina -- all saw ticket sales rise compared to last year. But in 2012, only Turin showed an increase compared to the previous year, making it the only fest to show consecutive increases.

The increased ticket sales came despite Turin's getting underway just days after the close of the Rome Film Festival, which pushed its dates into November starting in 2012. Turin organizers have complained that the close proximity of the two events hurt Turin in terms of sponsorship and media attention -- though obviously not when it comes to ticket sales.

Turin was under the artistic direction of filmmaker Paolo Virzi for the first time this year.

Twitter: @EricJLyman