CAMPAIGN: Jewish Film Festival enjoys media success

Since its launch in Brighton in 1997 as the Brighton Jewish Film Festival, the UK Jewish Film Festival has grown in size.

Campaign: UK Jewish Film Festival 2007
Client: UK Jewish Film Festival
PR team: The PR Office
Timescale: August - November 2007
Budget: Under £20,000

The event went national in 2004 and now involves an annual London-based festival as well as a 12-city tour. The 2007 main event was the biggest to date, taking in 11 venues in the capital and showing 55 films - seven more than the previous year.

Retained agency The PR Office developed a campaign to ensure that the festival attracted its biggest audience yet.

To raise the profile of the festival among Jewish and non-Jewish audiences and to drive ticket sales.

Strategy and plan
The PR Office began by ensuring the reviewers watched the festival's films, and that those compiling media listings had the relevant information.

A key event was the opening gala night, which took place in London's West End. This featured The Band's Visit, a film about an Egyptian police ceremonial band who find themselves stranded in an Israeli desert town.

Anna McCreadie, a consultant at The PR Office, said the diversity of the films was a unique selling point.

Films included Heir to an Execution, about the killings of American Jewish immigrants Julius and Ethel Rosenberg; and a film about the exploration of youth in Tel Aviv, called The Bubble.

The festival also supports emerging Jewish film-makers, through its short film fund sponsored by The Pears Foundation.

Measurement and evaluation
The festival was featured 40 times in the media, including coverage in the Jewish Chronicle, The New Statesman, and Empire Online. The Independent also featured an article about Heir to an Execution on 9 November.

The festival also featured in the Israeli press, including an article on 2 October in the Jerusalem Post that focused on the short film funding angle.

The audience figures rose by around 30 per cent on the previous year, with those attending screenings for the 2007 London event totalling just under 10,000. David Parkinson, contributing editor to Empire Online and a specialist on film festivals, said: 'The PR team for this festival was really helpful.' He added: 'It is one of my favourite festivals, with such a diversity of films.'

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