SXSW 2020 was cancelled in early March by the city of Austin, Texas due to concerns surrounding the novel Coronavirus COVID-19. This was one of many festival, convention, and trade show cancellations caused by the virus, and as one of the earlier shutdowns, no plans were made to host the festival in an online format.
However, that’s about to change as South by Southwest is working with Amazon Prime Video to launch “Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection” which will present programs and panels from the cancelled SXSW 2020 Film Festival. The event will be available on Prime Video for 10-days in the US, for free. So you won’t need to be a Prime subscriber to view the SXSW festival. You’ll just need a US Amazon account in order to access the online festival.
South by Southwest is currently taking submissions from filmmakers, with hopes to launch the festival online later this month. Filmmakers who are eligible for submission to the online festival have already been contacted, and can opt in to the online festival starting today.
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.”
“Ever since SXSW was cancelled 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,” said Janet Pierson, Director of Film, SXSW. “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.”
“I’m thrilled that these two great champions of indie film (SXSW and Amazon Prime Video) are teaming up to resurrect this year’s canceled film festival,” said Jay Duplass, independent filmmaker and SXSW alum. “These are unprecedented times, and it’s going to take unprecedented solutions to carry on and celebrate these great films and the people who worked so hard to make them.”
The SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection will premiere on Amazon Prime, likely sometime in late April and will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime for 10 days.