Anyone still reeling from the loss of SXSW Film can breathe a little easier.
SXSW, which was cancelled earlier this year over concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak, has partnered with Amazon Prime to bring you a collection of the films that would have premiered at the festival this year. Best of all? It’s all free.
Billed as Prime Video presents the SXSW Film Festival Collection, the one of a kind event, set to premiere sometime this month, will offer audiences 10 days to watch a collection of films that would have been seen at SXSW in March. While the lineup is as of yet unsolidified, any filmmaker whose film was to premiere at the festival can, at their discretion, participate in the event. This unique presentation of SXSW film will be free of charge and entirely in front of Amazon Prime’s normal paywall.
Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, said, “We are supporters of SXSW and other independent film festivals, and hope this online film festival can help give back some of that experience, and showcase artists and films that audiences might otherwise not have had the chance to see.”
This was a sentiment echoed by SXSW Director of Film, Janet Pierson. ““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,” Pierson said. “We’re inspired by the adaptability and resilience of the film community as it searches for creative solutions in this unprecedented crisis.”
The alliance between Amazon Prime and SXSW is a potential game changer for festivals reeling from the continuing fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak, which has caused cancellations and postponements across the entertainment industry. As more and more film festivals wonder if 2020 is a loss, the partnership offers a chance for filmmakers, many of whom were set to showcase their debut films, to present their films to audiences in a unique way.
It also allows a chance for people who might have otherwise missed SXSW to get in on the fun and see what the festival is all about. Dedicated to showcasing unique narrative visions and offering a chance for up and coming filmmakers to springboard into their career, SXSW is a fun and unique festival whose film choices fit perfectly within the ethos of the festival.
The news follows the announcement that the Tribeca film festival, which was set to kick off in two weeks in New York, was looking at holding a digital film festival this year. Given the potential wider access to audiences, many of whom might otherwise miss the films at the festival, this alliance could prove to be a fruitful endeavor for everyone involved.