Amazon Prime Video, SXSW launch online film festival

Amazon Prime Video and SXSW are launching an online film festival featuring titles from the 2020 SXSW Film Festival lineup.

The event, titled "Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection," is offering filmmakers set to participate in this year's film festival an invitation to opt in to take part in the online festival that will play exclusively on Prime Video in the U.S. for 10 days.

“We’re honored to be able to provide a space for the SXSW filmmakers to share their hard work and passion with audiences for the first time. It’s been a privilege collaborating with Janet Pierson and the SXSW team to bring these diverse and inspiring films to viewers around the country," head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke said. "We are supporters of SXSW and other independent film festivals, and hope this online film festival can help give back some of that experience, and showcase artists and films that audiences might otherwise not have had the chance to see."

Filmmakers who choose to participate will receive a screening fee for streaming their film. The launch date has not been announced yet, but SXSW and Prime Video say they are looking at a late April date.

The film festival idea came after the city of Austin canceled SXSW due to concerns over COVID-19. March's cancellation was the first time in 34 years the conference had not been held in Austin.

“Ever since SXSW was canceled by the City of Austin, we’ve been focused on how we could help the incredible films and filmmakers in the SXSW 2020 Film Festival lineup,” said Janet Pierson, Director of Film for SXSW. “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. We’re inspired by the adaptability and resilience of the film community as it searches for creative solutions in this unprecedented crisis.”

Amazon says the film festival will be available in front of the Prime Video paywall to all U.S. audiences with a free Amazon account.


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