How do you remain valuable as a (partly) online film festival?

The outbreak of coronavirus has a huge impact on creative industries all over the world. Many events go online, using live streams and other virtual tools. Film festivals, as well, are now looking for digital solutions for their event.

In this quest, film festivals face technical, legal and financial challenges as they are shifting from a completely physical event to a hybrid or even fully virtual event. We can imagine that within an organization it raises questions such as: What is our core purpose nowadays? What’s the value of an online film festival? How are we going to be valuable for the industry as well as for the public when going virtual?

Fiona and her team have got your back in this issue. We join the search for the best possibilities to keep your event relevant. In this article, we share our vision on what should be your main focus to keep your film festival valuable now. We explain the opportunities and how we can assist you with going partly or fully digital. In fact, if you already have some specific ideas or wishes, please contact us – Fiona will help you out quickly and firmly.

Remain a meeting place for people

In times of social distancing, the biggest challenge is to bring people together. An important part of a film festival’s program is interaction: Q&As, audience awards and moreover, film festivals offer ultimate networking opportunities for the film industry, its makers and emerging talents.

That’s why Fiona prioritizes finding a virtual solution for networking while focusing on one-on-one meetings, round tables, presentations, and webinars. There’s already a lot of software for videoconferencing going around nowadays, but we are looking for something more detailed and refined. Because, for us and for the industry, it is required that the matchmaking platform pays attention to specific information like differences in time zones and a person’s availability. In addition, the software needs to be able to synchronize with Fiona’s meeting planner so that you only have to log in to your Fiona to view all information.

Enable your audience with secure online screenings

Of course, not only interaction is key for film festivals, because what’s a film festival without film screenings?

Since the streaming platforms are popping up like daisies, it is most important to pick a reliable party. We are currently in touch with some parties to look into the possibilities to set up a secure and high-quality connection with our Fiona software. One of these parties is Shift72, which is already successfully cooperating with Cannes Film Festival, SXSW and CPH:DOX. Shift72 offers an online video platform that stands out by its high-quality streaming, digital rights management (DRM) and secure, encrypted system.

Once we have connected Fiona to a streaming platform, as a festival, you will be able to smoothly publish your film data to this platform. Entering screeners for Vimeo or another video platform will as always go safely through the integrated FilmFetch’s online uploading service. So, imagine all your data synced and online screenings at the touch of a button, we make it possible for you to work easily from one place (and that place is Fiona).

The other challenges you’ll be facing when enabling online screenings are about film rights, access rights, and payments. It is still a lot to think about, but at least, it will be reassuring that, based on the recent increasing popularity of online streaming services, it is clear that people are very positive about shifting from offline to online and that they are willing to pay for a virtual screening experience.

Fiona stands by your side

In these strange times, we fully support our Fiona users in keeping their festival going – either a digital or hybrid version. Even when you aren’t a Fiona user we are here to assist you with (partly) virtualizing your festival – have a look at our functionalities:

  • Interactions & people

    • Researching virtual networking possibilities
    • Focus on one-on-one meetings, round tables and, presentations
    • Points of attention: supervision of the festival, differences in time zones, person’s availability
    • Connected to Fiona’s meeting planner
  • Secure file uploading for filmmakers

    • Using the secure upload environment by FilmFetch
    • Integration with Vimeo and other video platforms
  • Online screenings

    • Researching online streaming integrations, such as Shift72
    • Focus on secure and stable connection
    • DRM and access rights
    • Payment integration (you might want to think of adding a donation button to every online screening)

Any questions?

So, would you like to move your festival (partly) online, but are you in need of a helping hand? Fiona is here for you! Get in touch with us by filling in the contact form below and together we’ll take a look at the options for your event.

When you’re interested in how the industry is dealing with the current situation, watch Screen Internationals’ first Screen Talks here.

About The Author

Peter Goldman
An update from Fiona regarding COVID-19The show must go on: we help you move your festival online


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