The internet has obviously changed our lives. Instant information, messages from family around the world, and unlimited quantities of adult entertainment. One area that has been greatly impacted by the internet is film festivals.
In today’s digital world, you don’t have to go to Sundance or Cannes to see great films. In fact, you don’t even need to get off the couch.
Online film festivals are the great equalizer. From the poorest amateur to the richest mega-director, everyone can have their place on the internet and in film festivals around the world. From the farthest reaches of the planet, films can be posted and seen by nearly everyone.
Here are a few of the best online film festivals (besides TMFF – The Monthly Film Festival, of course)
Feel The Reel International Film Festival – A monthly film festival founded in Glasgow and currently in its fourth edition / month. Even though it is online, Feel The Reel has a partnership with another film festival (Bucharest ShortCut Cinefest) where screenings are held each month in Romania. There are many awards given each month and there is even a screenplay competition.
The PBS Online Film Festival – In the United States, the Public Broadcasting System has carried the torch for quality film and documentaries for decades. Long before the History Channel and the Cooking Channel, the only place to see great informational programs was on PBS. Today, they have taken up the cause of independent films with their online film festival. For 18 days this past july, they showed 25 films online, giving viewers a chance to vote and pick the winners.
Tribeca Online Festival – Tribeca has become one of the world’s most important film festivals, particularly for indie films. They have created an online festival that shares short films from around the world. The exposure that these films gets will likely launch careers in film that might last for decades. Few festivals have the credibility for great indie films that Tribeca has and their online festival is a wonderful place for see what great films are all about.
National Screen Institute – The National Screen Institute of Canada has an online festival that accompanies their school’s other offering. The year-round short film festival is showcase of some of the most interesting and ground-breaking storytelling available. Many of the films are in languages other than English, with subtitles. Many tell the stories that most Europeans and North Americans don’t get to see first hand.
FirstGlance Film Festivals – One of the largest of the online film festivals, FirstGlance offers cash prizes each month, as well as the opportunity to be showcased at their Los Angeles live film festival. The competition is fierce with over 30 entries, but the exposure is amazing. For filmmakers, this is a great place to be seen. For film lovers, there are dozens of rising stars that are showing their works online at this festival.