Film Fest’s Impact on Danbury?

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I spent six days covering the CT Film Festival in Danbury (and nothing else that week) and I have to tell you — I didn’t hear anything negative about the event.

People — officials, patrons, neighboring merchants, residents who just stopped by to look at The Palace — were very happy with the event.

Today we have a story trying to gauge the event’s impact on Danbury.

We also have a story where folks offer suggestions as to how to improve the festival next year (online it appears at the bottom of the story linked above).

 Last Saturday, just before the “Americanizing Shelley” red carpet event, I stopped people at random and asked people how much money they had spent in Danbury.

(My random “poll” is, of course, not even close to being scientific, but offers useful info, I hope)

Remember, the hope was that the festival would attract 5,000 people who would spend roughly $100 each.

People said:

Frank Chieffalo

Age: 29

From: Danbury

Days at festival: Two

Spent: $65 on movie passes, $25 for the “Americanizing Shelley” movie and after-party, $20 at Nico’s Pizza and Pasta, $15 at Two Steps Downtown Grill, $30 at Tuscano

TOTAL ESTIMATED SPENDING: $155

Clinton Mann

Age: 33

From: Hartford

Days at festival: Five

Spent: Hotel, various clubs on Ives Street, movie tickets

“I came to the festival with $1,000 and I spent that.”

TOTAL ESTIMATED SPENDING: $1,000

Name: Nelle Tresselt

From: Danbury

Days at festival: Two

Spent: Tickets for the documentary “Blinders” and “Americanizing Shelley,” $32; dinner for three at Union Buffet in Danbury before Saturday’s movie, $50

TOTAL ESTIMATED SPENDING: $82

Leandro Costa

Age: 36

From: Hamden

Days at festival: One

Spent: Three tickets, he said, at $9 a piece for “Americanizing Shelley,” plus $100 for dinner for three

TOTAL ESTIMATED SPENDING (three people): $127 or $42 per person

Ethan Beato and Amanda O’Connor

Ages: 17

From: Danbury

Days at festival: Two (Danbury High School student volunteers)

Spent: Beato’s parents purchased dinner for five at Three Brothers Diner for about $30 or $40; Beato and O’Connor spent about $10 combined for lunch at Papi’s Deli and Grocery on White Street

TOTAL ESTIMATED SPENDING: $40 to $50 (combined)

AVERAGE SPENDING OF PEOPLE INTERVIEWED: $280

MEDIAN SPENDING: Between $82 and $127

UPDATE: I avoid Topix at all costs, but this poster makes a good, albeit ALL CAPS ANGRY, point:

“Are you kidding?
If 5000 people DIDN’T show up all the Danbury naysayers would be screaming aobut how BAD the festival was.
Great job Carruthers, Gartner, City officials,…..AND MOST OF ALL, THE GREAT FOLKS WHO CAME FORM (sic) NEAR AND FAR TO HAVE A GOOD TIME IN DOWNTOWN DANBURY.
NEXT YEAR! YOU BET, AND EVERY YEAR FROM NOW ON!!!”

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