As a relatively young film festival only in its seventh year of existence, the 2011 Boulder International Film Festival was challenged with continuing to build its reputation as a ‘must attend’ event among both local audiences and film festival enthusiasts from across the world. In addition to increasing awareness, the festival hoped to drive attendance and increase ticket sales over previous years. With more film festivals appearing every year, the Boulder International Film Festival partnered with Linhart PR build festival awareness and ticket sales.
Linhart PR developed and implemented a strategic media relations and social media plan aimed at achieving the festival’s goals of driving ticket sales and generating greater media awareness, including increased trade coverage as one of the up and coming international film festivals in the country. The Linhart PR team worked with festival leaders to determine key films that would capture attention from media, and leveraged partnerships with visiting filmmakers, directors and celebrities. Festival organizers landed two star coups for the 2011 festival, which gave the PR team star-power media relations opportunities to promote – film-making legend Oliver Stone was being honored with a “Master of Cinema Award” and 2011 Oscar contender James Franco was taking the stage for an up-close-and-personal on-stage interview eight days before hosting the Academy Awards on Feb. 27. Festival organizers arranged for Boulder resident and real-life inspiration of the gripping “127 Hours” film Aaron Ralston to do a surprise introduction of Franco. The team paired these media relations opportunities with a strategic social media plan aimed at building online buzz and boosting awareness.
The PR team achieved the most media coverage in festival history with more than 21 million consumer media impressions, generating more coverage and reaching a significantly broader, more diverse audience. This success contributed to the business results of the festival as well, driving a 9.2 percent increase in ticket sales over 2010. The media relations efforts also resulted in national media coverage, a feature story in national film trade publication IndieWIRE and widespread statewide coverage of our very own star-studded film festival set against the backdrop of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.