The COVID-19 crisis has fundamentally changed the way film festivals are organized, and how they will work for the foreseeable future. With large public gatherings currently banned in most states, festivals are either being canceled or moved to online, virtual platforms. This won’t be the case forever–but for now, here’s a list of five virtual film festivals you should attend in 2020, right from the comforts of home.
We Are One
We Are One is a global film festival born from the COVID-19 pandemic. The event is a collaboration between YouTube and eight major film festivals around the world, including Cannes, Tribeca, Sundance and Venice. Sundance, Venice, Berlin, and more. Proceeds will go to the World Health Organization, supporting the fight against COVID-19. Programming has yet to be announced, but the event will include all the trappings of a traditional film festival, including workshops, films, music and comedy performances.
DeadCenter is an Oklahoma-based film festival: one of largest in the state. Its focus is on independent films and small-scale documentary productions. DeadCenter will be celebrating its 20th anniversary on a smaller scale than originally planned, hosting a digital event between June 11th-21st. The online festival will include everything from movies to filmmaker panels, to classes and live screenplay readings. Don’t miss the 14-minute virtual reality film Gravity, or Cannonball: a live action short about a woman who seeks to hire an assassin to kill her abusive husband.
Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival
This event is set to host between one to three programs a day, with programming available online until May 31st. The festival will include a variety of film screenings, as well as two master classes in animation in songwriting, and a performance by Weapons of Mass Creation.
International Vegan Film Festival
Founded in 2008, this festival is the only one of its kind in the world. It is held annually in Canada, and will be taking the form of an online event for 2020. All films in the festival focus on aspects of life deemed vital to vegan communities, from climate change to animal rights, to sustainability and vegan-friendly fashion. This year, a total of 11 short films with a combined viewing time of 90 minutes will be 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 hosting an online iteration of the Korean Film Festival DC, taking place exclusively on YouTube. The festival is currently offering an archive of over 110 on the popular video-streaming platform. The museum’s film curator, Tom Vick, will additionally host a Zoom discussion on Korean Golden Age cinema. Topics of discussion will include Mother and a Guest, The Flower in Hell, A Water Mill and Insect Woman. All aspects of the event are available to the public free of charge.