Five Film Festivals Partner for a Virtual Event This Year - Nightstream
"It is true, we shall be monsters, cut off from all the world; but on that account we shall be more attached to one another." –Mary Shelley, Frankenstein. Big news in the film festival world! Five genre festivals have decided to come together and launch a special event this year to circumvent challenges of hosting festivals during an ongoing pandemic. Nightstream is a "collective virtual event" launching online in October this year. The five participating genre film festivals include: Boston Underground, Brooklyn Horror, North Bend, Overlook, and Popcorn Frights. "In response to the many challenges impacting the film community amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and the concerns of safety and security that presently come with physical exhibition and festivals, a collective online initiative will be launched by organizers of a number of American genre festivals for the upcoming fall season to offer a singular experience for U.S. audiences." Fest passes are on sale now.
Many genre festivals run in the fall - Fantastic Fest, Sitges, FrightFest, Fantasy Filmfest, Bucheon. This one will feature a program showcasing a mix of international horror, fantasy, sci-fi, vanguard, and underground films that capture the distinct curatorial spirit of each festival. "Highlighting imaginative, daring, and bold voices in cinema, Nightstream will encompass the full scope of genre storytelling and provide an exciting home experience for film fans this Halloween season." There are earlybird badges available now: a $90 pass that allows you to see 10 films (or shorts), or a $55 pass that allows you to see 5 films (or shorts). "Proceeds from the event will be shared with all participating filmmakers and artists, and donations will be made on behalf of each associated festival to charitable causes and local businesses in their home cities." The festival will run for four days - from October 8th to 11th. For more info, visit their official website - click below:
Poster designed by Sister Hyde. The festivals state: "By uniting, we aspire to both show our determination to overcome this time of anxiety and uncertainty, and demonstrate our strong will to continue to support bold and visionary films and filmmakers from around the world. Now more than ever, we are dedicated to celebrating cinema and providing filmmakers with the opportunity to have their films seen and enjoyed by eager audiences." Read their full "letter of intent" here. Programmers from all five festivals will collaborate on the feature film line up, and these films will be recognized as an official selection of each festival entity as well. The fest selection will be announced in late September. "The launch of Nightstream, a unique virtual festival experience, will continue each of our missions to bring communities together and showcase the best that the genre scene has to offer,while also giving back to those in need who have supported us. To that end, we’d like to stress that all proceeds from sales of Nightstream will be shared in the manner outlined [here]."
This is a good way to present new films without worrying about the pandemic and its dangers. And I respect these festivals for coming together and supporting each other and recognizing that the film community is one big group. Festivals don't need egos or to fight among each other over viewers or exclusives, just show good films and audiences will have a good time. The only limitation with Nightstream - it's for Americans only. "Nightstream will be geo-locked to the U.S. and hosted on Eventive, which offers enhanced security features including the same DRM technology used by Disney+, iTunes, and Netflix, and is trusted by leading distributors and studios including A24, Sony Pictures Classics, Starz, Showtime, and National Geographic. It will function on multiple internet browsers as well as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast and other connective devices to ensure the most wide-reaching compatibility, as well as comfort for viewers." Well, let's see how it goes and hope for the best anyway. We'll be keeping an eye on this fest and the line-up of films they screen.