Independent Films by the Numbers

The marketing of Independent Films

Archive for the 'Nostalgia' Category

Nostalgia at Film Festivals

I have not posted for a few days while I completed an analysis for a leading carbonated beverage company. I have to pay the bills.

What I have to offer today is a look at older films shown at film festivals. Most films shown at festivals tend to be new (this year or last); however many festivals wallow in nostalgia for the past by showing older films. It is either a homage to past great films or a way to expand their audience (i.e. fill seats and sell tickets).

As I began collecting data on festivals, I began to wonder what is the present trend towards nostalgia based on what older films were showing. The following is a graphic representation of what I discovered…

Older Films at Film Festivals

The data behind this chart encompass the films shown at the Sundance, Tribeca, Toronto, Berlin, Los Angeles, and Woodstock Film Festivals. Woodstock was just added since we are showing Freeheld there this week and I want to get data on smaller festivals — not being a very nostalgic festival it added only one film to this analysis.

As you can tell, Berlin dominates nostalgic screenings and it really likes 1920, 1960, and 1990 period films. The US festivals studied focused more on the 1960s with some 1980 and 1970 films. There were some older films shown from the 1920s and 1930s in the US, but these were overshadowed by later decades. The general insight is that 1960s films are hot right now, while 1930s to 1950s films are not. I love 1940s films, but it seems they have lost their audience at festivals right now.

One thing that surprised me was how the Tribeca Film Festival shied away from 1970s movie despite their close association with Robert De Niro — who really came into his own during this period with classics such as Taxi Driver and the Deer Hunter. The gritty flavor of this era of filmmaking also fit well in my mind with New York, but this was not reflected in the Tribeca line up.

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