Virtual Film Festivals: A Temporary Solution or a Long-Term Trend?

Virtual Film Festivals: A Temporary Solution or a Long-Term Trend?
5 min read
23 November 2022

Online short film festivals did exceptionally well in 2021, and it seems that they will stick around!

Some festivals have closed, but many have evolved into a hybrid of online and in-person events. So, if you need to find an audience for your film, opting for online film festivals can be your best bet.

Generally, online short film festivals allow you to advertise yourself and your work to a global audience. If you're a filmmaker, you must attend film festivals in order to find distribution and sell your film.

So, What is a Virtual Film Festival, exactly?

Online film festivals are an excellent way to get your film in front of a global audience. Film festivals, like any other type of film distribution, put your work in front of an audience. Once your film gets picked to screen at one festival, other film festivals take note and might be more inclined to choose you for their festivals. Getting selected for a film festival is an invaluable asset to your résumé. More importantly, you can use it for the promotion of your film.

What Are the Potential Benefits of Virtual Festivals?

Some of the potential benefits of the Virtual Film Festival are as follows:

Virtual festivals provide easy access to their audience, allowing people who are unable to travel to take part in the festival.

Film festivals help filmmakers interact and connect with other film producers, media agents, professionals, competent directors, supporters, and fans. Such vital relationships enable filmmakers to grow and progress as skilled film creators. As a result, every filmmaker should attend and submit films to film festivals online.

Film festivals provide the best platform for filmmakers to exhibit and identify their hidden talent and knack. It allows filmmakers to showcase their work to a large and worldwide audience. When filmmakers submit a film to a festival, they most importantly gain the festival's acceptance. Filmmakers can then use their imaginative short films to catch and hold the hearts of thousands. Thus, film festivals provide filmmakers with great exposure.

The Importance of Attending a Virtual Film Festival Online

So you've completed your film and now you’re deciding between a film festival virtual or putting it online?

Well, let’s take a look at the importance of attending the best online film festivals:  

A film festival is a venue for showcasing films, and it often includes film screenings, awards, and best-category nominees. A film festival is a true celebration of the artistic aspect of filmmaking because it is all about the craft of filmmaking, the spectacle, and the glitz. International film festivals include the Berlinale, Venice Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival.

The following are some of the reasons why you should attend a top shorts film festival:

  • Given that you can participate from the comfort of your home rather than needing to commute or travel, the barrier to participation is lower.
  • Participation expenses are often far cheaper, making them accessible to many filmmakers, and there are no travel, food, vehicle rental, or accommodation fees.
  • They are more efficient because you can focus solely on the event, meeting, or chat and then move on to the next activity.

    These are just a few benefits of attending online film competitions and getting your films screened.

What Are the Risks of Attending an Online Film Festival?

The face-to-face interaction experience, which is very important to perceive mood, seriousness, interest, excitement, or disappointment, is no longer available in the Online Film Festival. Since there is no travel, the learning, and cultural experience, hearing and speaking in different languages on the street, tasting local food, and experiencing different temperatures are all gone. Another downside is that it is too easy to "drop out" from an online virtual film festival. Just a swipe of the thumb will do.

Virtual screenings challenge the role of film festivals as a place for audiences, filmmakers, and industry professionals to come together. Physical screenings provide filmmakers with an opportunity to see how viewers respond to a film in a way that a virtual screening cannot readily replicate.

The Bottom Line

Not everyone can afford to go to international festivals, so the virtual model benefits many people. Virtual Festivals grow, and will continue to grow, even with all the changes. They can help generate new revenue streams, boost overall ticket sales, and expand their slate of programs. They just have to adapt. 

We don't have more options, so let us welcome the top Short Film Festivals/best Online Film Festivals of the Modern Era.

These are just a few benefits of attending online film competitions and getting your films screened.


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Rachel Ted 2
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