sxsw online

SXSW was canceled this year – a move that was entirely unprecedented and left the future of the festival in some question. However, SXSW may be down, but it’s not out yet. Amazon Prime Video is teaming with SXSW for Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection, a one-time online film festival showcasing films from the SXSW 2020 lineup. And oh yeah, it’s free.

If you were planning to attend SXSW and are still bummed-out about the cancelation, here’s some good news. Amazon Prime Video has teamed with the fest for a one-time SXSW online film festival. The fest will play exclusively on Prime Video in the U.S. for 10-days, and will be available in front of the Prime Video paywall and free to all audiences around the country, with or without an Amazon Prime membership – as long as you have an Amazon account.

Janet Pierson, Director of Film at SXSW, said:

“Ever since SXSW was canceled by the City of Austin, we’ve been focused on how we could help the incredible films and filmmakers in the SXSW 2020 Film Festival lineup. 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. We’re inspired by the adaptability and resilience of the film community as it searches for creative solutions in this unprecedented crisis.”

And Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, added:

“We’re honored to be able to provide a space for the SXSW filmmakers to share their hard work and passion with audiences for the first time. It’s been a privilege collaborating with Janet Pierson and the SXSW team to bring these diverse and inspiring films to viewers around the country. 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.”

No titles have been announced yet, and just which filmmakers will go in for this idea remains to be seen. That said, filmmakers who choose to participate will receive a screening fee for streaming their film over the 10-day period. There’s no launch date in place yet, but everyone is hoping for late April. SXSW has reached out to the 2020 filmmakers with the info.

This is a pretty big deal overall, and I can’t help but wonder what other 2020 film festivals might follow suit. Cannes has delayed its date, and whether or not it happens at all this year remains up in the air. Would they be willing to try something like this? What about TIFF? NYFF? I honestly don’t know. We’re in uncharted waters here, and we’re all just figuring things out as we go along.

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