The Film Festival Doctor (Yes, she’s a real doctor!) Dr. Rebekah Louisa Smith, shares with you today her insider knowledge and facts regarding the CV19 pandemic and its effects with regards to film festivals due to take place in the USA later this year.
I have been asked the above question very frequently by current and prospective clients of mine during the past 2 weeks. The reason why it’s been a concern for filmmakers is because at the time of writing this article, the USA has had a huge surge in COVID-19 cases and this has led to further delays in film festivals starting back up again.
To answer the above question the short answer is yes – however these festivals will be hosted using a different exhibition platform – the ‘old school’ drive in movie theatre. Interestingly, the pandemic seems to be bringing back this exciting way of watching movies.
Our beautiful short film THE GESTURE AND THE WORD which we’ve just begun working on starring James Michael Tyler and Paul Dooley has been invited to screen at quite a few festivals already. Two of them – the ‘Oregon Short Film Festival’ in Portland and the ‘Summer In The South Film Festival’ in Atlanta Georgia will both be using the drive in screening format. Both of these festivals will be hosted outdoors in a big open space. Masks will be compulsory for everyone to wear and also temperature checks will be in operation. In addition, both of these festivals are also offering a digital option and will stream their selected films and events on-line simultaneously, for those who aren’t able to attend in person.
The drive in movie theatre format is working very well for the Dallas Film Society. They’ve been organising sold out screenings recently including JAWS and THE GOONIES which has brought a wave of nostalgia to Texas film lovers.
Not every film festival has been able to switch to the drive in theatre option. However, those that haven’t have chosen what is quickly becoming the reliable on-line option. HollyShorts will be going virtual during November 9th-15th (originally due to take place in August in L.A.). This is a wonderful festival and I’m very excited to be taking part in hosting an industry panel with them! Further info coming soon.
California is a little difficult as nothing will be happening that is film festival related until October/November. This is predominantly because that state has gone back into lockdown. However, these festivals are driven and determined to make them happen one way or the other and are quickly putting their plan A, B & C’s into place. The Newport Beach Film Festival is not giving up and despite having to reschedule twice. I admire the fact that they’re still planning on making it happen towards the end of the year. We are very excited to have two of our films; SCHEMERS & THE CUNNING MAN screening. Finally, we are also super excited to have our films COLD CALL & MARCUS screen in competition at the kick ass Valley Film Festival which runs November 11th-15th in my favourite city, Los Angeles.
As always, I love helping filmmakers like yourself create their festival strategies and this is something that I’d love to help you with. As a bonus to today’s blog, download your free guide ‘The 4 Main Reasons Why Your Film Is Not Getting Accepted Into Film Festivals And How To Fix it’ – https://www.thefilmfestivaldoctor.com/e-book/
Coming Next Week: I’ll be discussing the secrets to successfully networking on-line at film festivals and how to make an abundance of contacts.