2020 Fantasia Festival to be held online

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2020 Fantasia Festival to Be Held Online Amidst Pandemic

As many film festivals are looking to circumvent the global pandemic to bring exciting new projects to fans, the Fantasia International Film Festival will be hosting its 2020 edition online with a virtual screening event that runs from Aug. 20 to Sept. 2, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Festival organizers will adopt the Festival Scope and Shift72’s virtual screening platform, which offers studio-grade DRM and operates to Motion Picture Association of America’s security standards. The platform was also recently used at the CPH:DOX and Visions du Reel online festivals

While we’re saddened not to be able to put on the larger-than-life physical event that we’d been planning for this year, we’re extremely excited to be working with Festival Scope and Shift72 on an unconventional virtual edition,” Fantasia co-director Mitch Davis said in a statement.This year’s edition was originally set to run from July 16 to Aug. 5 in a physical festival with public screenings and filmmaker Q&As but safety precautions being taken amidst the global pandemic by the Montreal public health authorities have led Fantasia organizers to cancel the physical event and pivot to online.“They’ve enthusiastically embraced every challenge we’ve thrown their way, particularly when it comes to making so many of our screenings be real-time, live events instead of the usual streaming approach,” Davis added. “It’s going to make things so much more exciting and will go a long way toward keeping the intensity and engagement of the in-person experience vibrant in an online realm.

The virtual screenings will have firm start times and a limited number of tickets being sold for each viewing, which will be lower priced than the traditional physical festival’s costs. The number of tickets sold for each film will vary by the filmmakers and are projected to fall between 600 and 1,200 tickets, with each screening geo-restricted to Canada and tickets sold only to those with Canadian IP addresses.

Screenings will include live Q&As with filmmakers that Fantasia’s at-home audiences can participate in, while the competitions will continue as jury members view the titles remotely and deliberate online to choose the winners. Fantasia joins a growing list of North American festivals to cancel or postpone their 2020 editions including South by Southwest in Austin, Tribeca, Hot Docs and the Banff World Media Festival.

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