Despite its apparent demise in March, the 2020 SXSW Film Festival lives on! Kind of.
SXSW is teaming up with Amazon to deliver a new version of the festival that will stream to folks via the Prime Video platform. Dubbed “Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection,” the service will debut a selection of films that were picked to screen at this year’s festival and will be free to view for film fans around the world. That’s right, though Prime Video normally comes with a subscription fee, the SXSW section of the service will be free for folks to screen over a 10-day period.
Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said, “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. 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.”
Janet Pierson, Director of Film at SXSW, added, “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. 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.”
Filmmakers will be offered a chance to join the promotion if they so choose. And according to both parties, the filmmakers that join the initiative will be paid. However, the financial details remain unclear.
Though an exact date and film lineup are not known at this time, Amazon is hoping to begin screening films by late-April.