The epidemic of covid19 has changed the way film festivals are organized and how they will work. At this point, it seems like there won’t be any. It’s not safe to gather in public places in such large numbers and therefore a lot of festivals are being canceled or moved online.
This isn’t to say that this is going to be the case forever but at this point there are some festivals you can only enjoy online. Here’s a list of some of them you shouldn’t miss now when they are available without having to travel.
We are one
We are one is a global film festival that came about because of the pandemic and it’s a collaboration between YouTube and 8 other major film festivals across the country and the world. These include: Cannes, Tribeca, Sundance, Venice, Berlin, and more.
The proceeds that might come about from this cooperation and the venture in general will go towards funding the groups that are fighting the virus and the World Health Organization itself. Programming has yet to be released, but it will include everything you’d get at a traditional film festival: workshops, films, shorts, music and comedy performances
deadCenter is an Oklahoma festival and it’s the largest one in the state. It’s focused on independent and small scale documentary films. This was supposed to be its 20th anniversary and it’s still is but it will be celebrated at somewhat smaller scale than was initially planned.
An online festival will include: everything from movies and filmmaker panels to film classes, celebrity chats and screenplay readings. It will take place in June, from June 11-21. Don’t miss Gravity, a 14-minute virtual reality film of two bothers falling through a void for their entire lives, until one of them finally sees something they appear to be falling toward, and Cannonball, a live action short from a first-time director about a woman who wants to hire an assassin to kill her abusive husband.
Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival
This is more of an event than a one film festival and it’s currently hosting between one and three events per day, ranging from films like Miguelito, a feature documentary on the short-lived career of a young Puerto Rican salsa singer, to concert performances and master classes on songwriting, animation, and more.
It will remain online until the 31st of May. The festival also includes: two master classes (Latinx in animation and songwriting) and a performance by Weapons of Mass Creation.
Ashland Independent Film Festival
This festival is usually a five-day long event that presents as much as 7.000 different films from all around the world and from a variety of different authors and in a lot of different themes. This year the festival will show 30 feature-length films and 50 short films online for AIFF members (with the exception of the Locals Only and Launch Student Film Competition programs, which are free to view for everyone, member or not).
There are also rules for watching the films online. Members who purchase a Virtual Festival subscription can watch all the short films with no extra charge, but must pay for feature film access. Feature films are available for between four and 24 hours, depending on the film, with some of them restricted by your location
International Vegan Film Festival
This festival was founded in 2008 and at this point it’s the only vegan film festival in the world. It’s held in Canada and it tours around the world. It will be canceled this year but there will be an online venue. Every film in the festival—all of which have been moved online for this year—focuses on aspects of life that are important to vegans overall: climate change, animal rights, ethical eating, sustainability and vegan-friendly fashion.
There will be a total of 11 short films with viewing time of 90 minutes and they are available to watch on the festival’s website as part of its COVID-19 Virtual World Tour.
Korean Film Festival DC
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art is an annual event and now it’s canceled due to the corona virus pandemic. This year it will take place on YouTube exclusively. The festival is now a YouTube archive of over 110 movies.
Other parts of the festival will be moved online as well. For instance, the museum’s film curator, Tom Vick, will host a Zoom discussion on Korean Golden Age cinema. There’s no charge for viewing the material or participating in the other parts of the event.
Suggested films for the discussion include Aimless Bullet and A Coachman, which portray changes in Korean society around 1961; Mother and a Guest, about the rigidity of Confucian society; The Flower in Hell, about a sex worker and her alliances; A Water Mill, which is based in Korean folklore; and Insect Woman, a favorite film of Parasite’s director Bong Joon-Ho.