Based on the work of Kostopoulou, & Kalogirou (2011) which examined the connection between increased tourism and film festivals within various towns and municipalities, it was discovered that film festivals were important “drivers of growth”. This opinion was based on the Venice Film Festival which created a positive impact on the local community within Venice in the form higher numbers of tourists, an influx of foreign currency as well as increased consumption of locally made products (Grunwell, Ha, & Martin, 2008).
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Evidence of this assertion can also be seen in other film festivals such as those in New York, Manila and Tokyo. These events often draw hundreds of commuters from all around the various cities in those regions as well as tourists from other parts of the world. What must be understood is that with the establishment of events such as these, this often creates a positive impact on the economy of a local community.
A greater number of tourists means higher income levels for local hotels, shops and other assorted businesses which in turn creates a considerable degree of prosperity (Kostopoulou, & Kalogirou, 2011). For example, the Venice Film Festival which is sponsored by the local government often brings tourists from as far away as the U.S., Europe and Canada which creates a subsequent influx in tourism based income to the various businesses located within that area.
While Venice is also a well known tourist destination, it is often hard to determine when a large amount of potential tourists would arrive. It is due to this that scheduled tourism events such as the Venice Film Festival enables local businesses to plan in advance for the influx of tourists and make the most out it (Venice Film Festival, 2013).
The Zayed University Middle East Film Festival (ZUMEFF) is actually an annual event that is hosted by the university wherein students get to participate in a contest where they showcase the various films that they have developed over the course of their media studies. This event was originally started by two College of Communication and Media Sciences students which expanded over the years into its present day iteration.
What is interesting about ZUMEFF is that it is not hosted by a local council or a government sponsored initiative, rather, it began as a simple project and then continued to expand as it became more popular over the years. In comparison to the Venice Film Festival, ZUMEFF is rather small; however, when taking into consideration the fact that it is an event that was started by students and hosted by a university, it is still very impressive.
ZUMEFF also happens to utilize Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media in order to promote the events at the festival. This is in part due to the growing popularity of social media as a method of sharing news and information which makes it an ideal platform for “getting the word out there” so to speak when it comes to popularizing ZUMEFF (Zumeff, 2014).
Another interesting facet of ZUMEFF is the resulting influx of economic activity at the Zayed Convention Centre (Zumeff, 2014). As students and normal viewers come to the convention centre to watch the various films, local businesses experience an increase in the number of customers that buy their goods and services.
Overall, what this report has shown is that film festivals can become important drivers of economic growth for local communities.
Grunwell, S. S., Ha, I., & Martin, B. S. (2008). A Comparative Analysis of Attendee Profiles at Two Urban Festivals. Journal Of Convention & Event Tourism, 9(1), 1-14.
Kostopoulou, S., & Kalogirou, S. (2011). The spatial-economic impact of cultural events. International Journal Of Sustainable Development, 14(3), 309-331.
Venice Film Festival. (2013). Hollywood Reporter, (31), 24-26.
Zumeff. (2014). Submissions now open for Zumeff 2014. Web.