Video-on-demand (VOD) streaming services have been a cornerstone of the global film industry’s transformation over the past 12 months, which has been propelled by the losses cinema venues have faced due to indefinite closures for the safety of the public.
Film festivals have also had to adapt their programmes to accommodate the unsuitability of in-person screenings, and a number of organisers have been piloting streaming services which bring critically acclaimed global premieres straight into the home.
Tim Brown – co-organiser of the born-digital film festival AMPLIFY! which debuted in 2020 – is positive about the innovative potential VOD streaming has for the future of global cinema. He remarked:
“We live in a blockbuster culture, so anything that shines a light on other parts of the world – or things that don’t normally get the coverage … and I think it’s the raison d’être, it’s what all festivals should do; otherwise they’re not developing an audience for another kind of cinema.”
With blockbuster productions being continuously pushed back due to COVID-19 safety restrictions, it may be more advantageous to secure smaller releases for home-premiere in 2021 – in line with trends seen across 2020’s successful digital film festivals.
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