The cancellation of South by Southwest 2020 rocked the entertainment world. But these unprecedented times call for unprecedented solutions.
SXSW and Amazon Prime announced Thursday the coming launch of "Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection," a 10-day online showcase of films originally slated to screen at the Austin film festival in March.
According to a news release, the online showcase will be available in front of the Prime Video paywall and free to view without a Prime membership, though you will need an Amazon login.
"Filmmakers who choose to participate will receive a screening fee for streaming their film over the 10-day period," according to the news release.
No launch date for the virtual film festival has been announced, but organizers teased an April date. Filmmakers originally selected to screen at SXSW can opt in starting Thursday.
After media giants like WarnerMedia and HBO began to pull out of this year’s SXSW over concern about COVID-19 last month, the city on March 6 pulled the plug on the annual festival as a precautionary measure against the spread of the disease caused by the coronavirus.
After the cancellation, SXSW Film organizers decided that the films selected for competition would be seen by a jury for competition and launched a screening room for press and industry professionals March 13.
"We were delighted when Amazon Prime Video offered to host an online film festival, and jumped at the opportunity to connect their audiences to our filmmakers," Janet Pierson, SXSW’s director of film, said in a statement about the Amazon collaboration. "We’re inspired by the adaptability and resilience of the film community as it searches for creative solutions in this unprecedented crisis."
For more information, go to sxsw.com. Check out our film critics’ list of films to look out for from this year’s SXSW slate at austin360.com.
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