The future of the film festival

Besides its obvious effects on health systems, the COVID-19 (2019 coronavirus disease) pandemic has also put many industries in a state of flux and grappling with new realities and new demands, and film festivals. are no exception.

At a recent panel discussion, which was part of the recently opened Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), a film critic, producer and several directors of international film festivals spoke about the future of the industry. film and film festivals in an era of streaming and closed cinemas.

“Just before the pandemic, [the film industry] basically did good, all over the world. It was booming – there were more films produced than ever, seen in different ways on different platforms, ”said Jean-Michel Frodon, film critic and film historian, during the discussion broadcast on the YouTube channel of the TIFF October 31. “[The industry] is a dynamic body, it was something energetic … [therefore] we can use other platforms like Netflix, we should use other platforms… I believe [streaming] is important for the future of cinema. There can be many types of platforms that can work with festivals.

Contrary to Mr. Frodo’s vision of treating streaming services as allies rather than enemies of cinema and film festivals, Carlo Chatrian, the artistic director of the Berlin International Film Festival, has a less optimistic opinion.

“When you go online you have a different festival,” he said, noting that the programming is different for physical film festivals and online film festivals. “Film festivals are a place to experience films but also to share thoughts and feelings with other people,” he said, adding that the charm of festivals is to watch films indoors. of a movie theater and to converse with other people in person.

The argument about streaming services and film festivals is not new. The Cannes Film Festival and streaming giant Netflix have been feuding since 2017, since the festival demanded that competing films must have a theatrical release, something Netflix has denounced, leading it to withdraw its films from the competition. .

In July, Thierry Fremaux, the artistic director of Cannes, criticized film festivals like Venice for allowing Netflix to compete for prizes when its films are only shown online. He said that these festivals are “[opening] their doors a little too widely, perhaps, to people of whom we’re not sure. We are not absolutely sure that they really want the cinema to survive, ”he said in a commentary. Quartz article.

The role of streaming services and how they can coexist with film festivals may still be an open question, but for Lorna Tee, producer and art curator, the fact that film festivals had to be brought online. due to the pandemic “has led us to look at the agendas of film festivals.

Film festivals like Sundance and Rotterdam have gone live, a move that has brought in more people than they usually would. Sundance, in particular, has hosted online screenings and drive-thru screenings in 24 states across the United States, whereas previously the festival was mostly limited to the city of Utah.

“This created contact with an audience that would not necessarily be able to attend a film festival,” she added,

Finally, with the panel having different opinions on the state of cinema, Mr Frodo pointed out that while he personally has no answer as to how the industry will change from here on out, it all comes down to the basic idea of ​​cinema. festivals: “bringing films to a local audience but also helping films to be released [their cities], and seek out a larger audience.

(Also on the panel were Christian Jeune, director of the cinema department / deputy general manager at the Cannes Film Festival, and Christian Boyer, artistic director of the Tribeca Film Festival.)

OPENING OF AN INTERNATIONAL HYBRID TOKYO FILM FESTIVAL
Much like other film festivals, the Tokyo International Film Festival, one of the main festivals in Asia, has had to adapt and introduce a hybrid programming that combines physical screenings and online events.

The film festival, which runs until November 8, will physically screen 126 films at its new premises in Tokyo’s Yurakucho-Hibiya-Ginza district instead of its long-standing Roppongi venues.

Besides the change of venue, the festival also introduced its new programming director, Shozo Ichiyama, who reorganized various sections and clarified the festival’s selection policies.

Four Filipino films are included in the festival – that of Mikhail Red Arisaka and Brillante Ma. from Mendoza Resbak are competing in the main section of the competition, while another film from Mendoza, Gensan Punch, will be included in the gala selection. Daniel R. Palacio Brokers is competing in the Asian Futures section. (Read more: https://www.bworldonline.com/red-mendoza-compete-in-the-34th-tokyo-intl-film-fest/)

For more information about the festival, visit https://2021.tiff-jp.net. – ZBC

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