24/11/22

Over 34 thousand attendees of the 13th American Film Festival

The winners of the 13th American Film Festival in Wrocław

The 13th American Film Festival has come to an end. From November 8th to November 13th, viewers had the opportunity to watch 88 films on the screens of the New Horizons Cinema in Wrocław, and several dozen titles from the program were available online until November 20th. 

Now we have the great pleasure of announcing that all the states of cinema are in very good condition: over 34,000 people attended screenings and events at this year’s festival, including as many as 28,439 in on-site events. That is an increase of as much as 20% compared to the previous year. Thank you very much for your trust and for attending the American Film Festival in such large numbers!

Independent cinema still on the crest of the wave

The leitmotif of the 13th AFF’s branding was the Californian sun and surfers enjoying the ocean. We can safely say that the brand theme was prophetic: this year’s edition of the event proved that American independent cinema is still on the rise, and festival attendance is rebuilding after two difficult, pandemic years.

Both the atmosphere at the New Horizons Cinema at the American Film Festival – the impression of a real cinema festival, and the numbers indicate that viewers returned to cinemas for our event, and hopefully for good. I hope that we have provided them with valuable experiences during meetings with our guests, as well as at screenings of exciting films. The online festival made it possible to supplement what there was not enough space or time for – says Ula Śniegowska, director of the American Film Festival.

Due to the ongoing modernization of the New Horizons Cinema, two screening rooms were closed during the festival. It is all that more pleasing to maintain a high attendance at on-site screenings. What’s worth noting is that the average number of viewers per one screening also increased: 157 people compared to 106 last year and 150 in 2019, before the pandemic.

For 13 days, from November 8th to 20th, several dozen titles from the AFF program could be watched online. The number of individual film views amounted to 5,650. However, assuming that more people sat in front of their screens at home – the final number is much higher. The multiplier used by global festivals to estimate online attendance is 1.7. In this case, this year's attendance of the online AFF is at the level of 9,605, which together with the on-site attendance gives a total of 38,044.

All states of cinema and other events

  • During the on-site edition of the 13th American Film Festival, viewers saw 88 films, 37 of which  had their Polish premiere.
  • Nina Menkes – diector, film expert, whose work is the epitome of American independent cinema - was a special guest of the festival. Menkes is also this year's winner of the Indie Star Award.
  • In addition to cinematic experiences, the AFF program included two concerts: Teoniki Rożynek, the author of the music for the film Roving Woman, performed at the club Mleczarnia, while Zuzanna Wrońska and Igor Nikiforow presented Silent Twins and other songs at the Vertigo Jazz Club.
  • Festival attendees had the opportunity to participate in two masterclasses: one with Nina Menkes and one with Joan Tewkesbury – an outstanding director and screenwriter, a close associate of Robert Altman, who was also the hero of one of the festival retrospectives. Tewkesbury also led an online screenwriting workshop.
  • During the 13th AFF, there were 28 meetings with dozens of industry representatives from the USA and other countries.
  • For the 12th time, we held the US in Progress industry event, during which leading Polish post-production companies help complete independent American films. Prizes totaling more than $110,000 have been awarded.
  • The audience voted for the two best titles from the Spectrum (feature films) and American Docs (documentaries) competition sections. Viewers chose the film Acidman directed by Alex Lehmann ($10,000 prize funded by the New Horizons Association) and The Pez Outlaw directed by Amy Bandlien Storkel and Bryan Storkel ($5,000 prize funded by BNY Mellon).

See you in fall 2023 at the 14th American Film Festival!


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