Netflix Giving You the Chills? Check out these Virtual Film Festivals Instead

Netflix Giving You the Chills? Check out these Virtual Film Festivals Instead
Registration Desk at South by Southwest 2019, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

This lockdown, watch select festival films from the comfort of your own home

Siddharth Ganguly
April 15 , 2020
06 Min Read

As with all good things in the past few months, film festivals too stand cancelled in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic. But, as they say, the show must go on. Rather than cancelling their programmes completely, many festivals have decided to go on with their scheduled screenings and events online, albeit in a limited capacity. Cinephiles rejoice, as some of the best independent cinema from across the world may still make its way to your screens.

South by Southwest
A world-renowned cultural festival that began in Austin, Texas in 1987, South by Southwest (abbreviated to SXSW) is an annual event that includes film screenings as well as music and comedy performances. The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic saw the festival cancelled, but the organisers, attempting to provide cinephiles stuck at home with some reprieve, have moved the film festival online.


South by Southwest, Austin’s annual film, music, and comedy festival

In collaboration with Amazon Prime Video, SXSW has reached out to participating filmmakers, offering them an opportunity to screen their films online on Amazon’s video platform in late April. The exact date is yet to be announced. The festival will be free of cost, requiring only a free Amazon account to view it. The screenings, however, will only be available in the United States. 

Greenwich International FIlm Festival

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You are officially invited to our first ever Virtual Film Festival. Get exclusive access to our carefully curated lineup of film that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else! Visit the link in our bio to purchase your pass today!

A post shared by Greenwich Int'l Film Festival (@greenwichfilm) on Apr 8, 2020 at 7:16am PDT

Based in Greenwich, Connecticut, the festival puts on display and provides up-and-coming filmmakers with a platform to display their art and get recognised. The festival will continue online from May 1st to 3rd, and bring to your home screens a collection of narrative and documentary features, a collection of short films under its ‘Connecticut Shorts’ programme, exclusive interviews with the filmmakers, and the J.P. Morgan Chase Audience Award, giving attendees a chance to vote for the winners. Tickets start at $175 (13,350 rupees) while more exorbitantly priced passes are also available, bringing with them certain benefits through the year. Tickets are available on their website.


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We are still here! Remember, CPH:DOX 2020 is running until Sunday April 5, offering more than 140+ documentaries and 20 live talks, available online to everyone based in Denmark. Check out the programme at our website and enjoy this year's CPH:DOX safely from home. Stay safe! ——— #CPHDOX2020 #stayhomestayreal

A post shared by CPH:DOX (@cphdox) on Apr 1, 2020 at 1:30am PDT

The Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival has made many of the festival entries available to watch online on their website (a majority of them are reserved for local audiences, but some are internationally viewable as well). The other aspects under the festival’s brand will be “carried out digitally to a great extent” says their website.

TCM Classic FIlm Festival
Rolling back the years is the TCM Classic Film Festival where a collection of great films from the past spanning genres are screened in illustrious venues across Los Angeles, California. While the awe-inspiring venues have naturally had to be foregone, the films, along with select moments and interviews from the festival’s history will be available for viewing online. Live events and guest appearances will also be broadcast between films. Classics like the original version of the blockbuster A Star is Born, Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, and the cult-classic thriller, The Creature from the Black Lagoon are all set to be streamed in the virtual festival, kicking off on April 16th.

Tribeca Film FestivalTribeca Film Festival

Initiated by Robert De Niro in 2002 in the wake of 9/11, the Tribeca FIlm Festival was meant to infuse life back into the New York neighbourhood. Since then, the festival has established itself as an important institution for independent cinema. While not all the films slated to be screened will be available for online viewing, select independent films will be made available on their website. The festival is also making one short film available per day, (under the ‘A Short FIlm a Day Keeps Anxiety Away’ initiative) screening their new initiative Cinema 360, which constitutes ‘experiences’ in virtual reality, as well as providing an online gathering space for Tribeca N.O.W, their creator’s market. 

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