In today’s online world, where we now have services such as online subscriptions to watch our favorite Tv shows, it is inevitable that film festivals have entered the digital age where people don’t have to go to Cannes and instead could just watch film festivals from the safety and comfort of their couch.
The question we must ask is simple, Are we still at a film festival when you can just watch one from the comfort of your home?
There is an appeal to having film festivals enter an online platform. According to an article by The Monthly Film Festival, Online film festivals are the great equalizer because anybody from poor amateurs to rich professionals are able to join these events and get their content out for the world to see.
However one of the concepts of a film festival is that it’s an event, a social event where a group of people gather to watch a series of films developed by people who are passionate of the craft that you cannot get from the big screen and then talk about them with a group of similar thinking individuals..
This idea of an event can be compared to the idea of the Public Sphere that German Sociologist Jurgen Habermas proposed. This is why I believe that online film festivals are going to become an essential part of the film festival with the majority of the world having internet these days.
The reason why I believe this to be the case is because through streaming services such as Twitch and Youtube, Online film festivals can not only showcase movies to a greater group of people, it also allows people the convenience of being able to watch from any place they choose.
In today’s day and age where it seems that people have less time, having an online film festival not only allows people to join in at whatever time is convenient to them, a greater amount of people can watch a movie at the same time without increasing costs to do so.
The biggest advantage that an online film festival brings however is that it allows people to watch it from anywhere in the world so long as they have an internet connection. An example of this would be a film in Cannes being watched online by a group of friends in Australia.
This not only allows people from all over the world to join together to watch a film, it also increases the attention a film may receive because instead of being watched in a screen with about 70 to 100 people watching, they have over a 1000 people watch their film at once, spreading awareness and attention to the film in the process.
However Online film festivals are not perfect and have their own share of problems such as how are the filmmakers going to make profits from showing their movies online, Online film festivals also present a realm of possibilities as to where the future of film festivals may head towards.