The cancellation of South by Southwest
2020 due to the brewing coronavirus pandemic rocked the entertainment world. But these unprecedented times call for unprecedented solutions.
South by Southwest and Amazon Prime announced Thursday the coming launch of “Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection,” a 10-day online showcase of films originally slated to screen at the Austin, Texas, film festival in March.
According to a press release, the online showcase will be available in front of the Prime Video paywall and free to view without a Prime membership, though you will need an Amazon login.
“Filmmakers who choose to participate will receive a screening fee for streaming their film over the 10-day period,” according to the release.
No launch date for the virtual film festival has been announced, but organizers teased an April date. Filmmakers originally selected to screen at South by Southwest can opt in starting Thursday.
After media giants like WarnerMedia and HBO began to pull out of this year’s festival over concerns about COVID-19 last month, the city of Austin on March 6 pulled the plug on the annual festival as a precautionary measure.
After the cancellation, organizers decided that this year’s selected films would be seen by a jury for competition and launched a screening room for press and industry professionals March 13.
“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,” Janet Pierson, South by Southwest’s director of film, said in a statement about the Amazon collaboration. “We’re inspired by the adaptability and resilience of the film community as it searches for creative solutions in this unprecedented crisis.”