Organizers of the Method Fest Film Festival, which drew 12,000 people
to Burbank in April, are planning to ask the City Council for a grant
to help bring the event back next year.
The council approved a $25,000 grant to help promote this year’s
festival, the first in Burbank after four years in Pasadena, and
Downtown Manager Gail Stewart said organizers plan to ask for a grant
in the same amount for the 2004 version.
Named for Constantine Stanislavski’s “method” acting -- a style
that aims to bring realism to the craft -- the festival is unique in
its focus on the contributions of actors to films. Film screenings,
acting and filmmaking panels, parties and special events are part of
the weeklong event.
More than 6,000 tickets were sold to screenings at the AMC 6 in
the Media City Center April 11-18. Other events connected to the
festival were held at various locations, including Gordon Biersch and
the Colony Theater.
While Stewart said she has no figures to demonstrate the effect
of the festival on local retailers and restaurants, she said the
attendance numbers give reason to believe the effect was significant.
“Over 12,000 people came to Burbank, and we feel the majority of
those people were newcomers,” she said. “We had a lot of independent
film folks from the other side of the hill.”
In addition to the $25,000 the city donated to the festival, local
businesses contributed a total of $16,500, including $10,000 from the
Media City Center. Local restaurants, several of which hosted or
catered receptions, contributed $20,000, city officials said.
Following the festival, some restaurant owners reported an
increase in sales. Gordon Biersch officials, who donated $2,000 to
the event, reported about a 5% increase in late-night sales. Mi
Piace, which donated $2,500, reported no noticeable change in sales.
SkyBluPink, a San Fernando Boulevard boutique which sells clothing
and home decoration items, saw a small increase in sales during the
festival, but owner Paul Ehre said many people came into the store
for the first time and returned later to make a purchase.
Ehre, who provided some gift baskets for the event, said the
bigger benefits to local businesses would be in subsequent years of
“Even if the results weren’t that great, in the long run it will
be very important to the business community that this thing
succeeds,” he said.
While Stewart was expected to present the City Council with a
report on the results of the 2003 festival at Tuesday’s council
meeting, she said organizers likely wouldn’t ask for a grant for the
2004 event until September.