Archive | March, 2017
21 Mar


I was at a dinner party recently and of course we began talking about the film festival because it of its imminence.
After the usual reminiscing about the films that some of had seen, (both the good and the not so good) and their surprise that we were launching our 25th Festival, the conversation turned to finances.
Although most of them attend the Festival, a few were surprised to hear that TJFF is a charity with a charitable tax number that issues tax receipts for donations.
It was my turn to be astonished at their surprise, since our charitable tax number is printed on all our material, we do an annual campaign, and screen a donor Patron List before each film.
We began talking about Festival costs.
The thought seemed to be that when they enter the theatre, they just do the math. ( 300 people @$14 = 4200) Easy, the Festival made $4200.
Well, not so easy and the Festival did not make $4200
Why not?

1. People who buy passes pay less
2. Seniors pay less – a large part of our audience
3. Festival costs: film rental (films cost on average $500-$1500 USD per screening), theatre rental, guest travel and accommodations (can be thousands, technical staff, box office staff and equipment rental.
4. Getting the word out, our printed material, Public Relations, advertising.

All in all, ticket sales account for only 20% of TJFF’s operating expenses and like all film festivals, none of us make money.

(Over 100 Jewish festivals in the world and over 90 film festivals in Toronto)
In order to keep attendance affordable, prices are kept modest.

So, WHAT ARE WE? A charitable organization with a Festival that showcases Jewish life around the world.
And that is why we depend on your generosity.

To find out WHAT WE ARE NOT, you’ll have to read my next blog.