Shanghai: Festivals Grapple With How to Stay Relevant in the Digital Era

Variety | 6/17/2019 | Rebecca Davis
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Festival organizers from around the world on Tuesday discussed the challenges of remaining relevant in a digital era at a Shanghai International Film Festival forum.

The Festival do Rio’s executive director Ilda Santiago noted that online platforms are now an unavoidable part of the film business and creative process, and that “of course not all of them are so keen on physical festivals.” Her festival has tried to work in a limited way with online streaming, and she would continue to explore such avenues as long as online services were “expanding the possibilities of the films… and what we do,” she said.

Films - Festival - Films - School - Screen

“We can’t have a 1,000 films in the festival, but I’m sure there are 1,000 good films to be screened. I’m old school in that I still think the big screen is the thing, but… I don’t want the audience to be imprisoned.”

New York Asian Film Festival executive director Samuel Jamier found the figure a bit over-generous. “We’ll be showing 50 films, but are there even 50 great films this year? I’m not so sure,” he said.

Festivals - Purpose - Audiences - Noise - Content

Festivals have to stick to their purpose of helping audiences cut through the noise and find the content they’ll enjoy. “What happens with the digital age is that we’re reaching the point of absolute availability. [The arrival of] Netflix doesn’t...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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