The 15th Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, which moved online after the emergency situation banned public gatherings, had an approximate attendance of 10,000 people.
The festival will donates most of its ticket sale revenue – approximately €5,000 euros – to Lääne County Food Bank.
The Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival (HÕFF) took place from May 8 to 10 and organizers report the festival's films were watched roughly around 2320 times. Similar to other virtual festivals, the organisers assume, on average, two people were watching the film or every viewing, so it is estimated that nearly 5,000 people could have watched the festival's films.
The festival hosted over 10 virtual Q&A's and a virtual industry panel. Altogether the events drew 8,570 views, 4,900 of which were attracted by the industry panel.
Helmut Jänes, head of HÕFF, said: "Taking into account how much emotional fatigue people have experienced from the lockdown, added to the fact that we had a sunny weekend, we can say that, we are very pleased with the results! Also, we learned many invaluable lessons with the organisation of virtual events, several which will come useful when organising Black Nights Film Festival in autumn!"
The most popular festival screenings were the short film programme "Little Nightmare" with 347 viewings, followed by the Mélièsi short film competition with 338 and the opening film Come to Daddy with 226 viewings.
The audience voted Mortuary Tales, directed by Ryan Spindell as their favourite film, however, followed by Swallow by Carlo Mirabella-Davis and Midsommar: Director's Cut by Ari Aster.
The festival organisers alongside we the principal partner Elisa have decided to donate a major share of the revenue to the food which who has seen a spike in demand due to the wave of job losses caused by the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Anu Aljaste-Sits, head of the Food Bank at Lääne County said that the number of people needing help was growing fast in April: "We have to be ready to help those who already have or are about to lose their jobs or who are not able to make it financially in this situation. The growth rate of unemployment is slowing down in Lääne County but we still have around 700 unemployed and in addition people who have lost in income."
Editor: Helen Wright