The world’s most glamorous film festival, Cannes has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The film buffs have been very sad due to this blow of their most awaited film festivals. Even the Habitat International Film which was supposed to take place in the month of March has been postponed to 21st May 2020. Right from International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam to Dharamshala International Film Festival has offered the audience to watch the films on their official websites. Yes, through online screening!
India’s AIFF has even launched its own Viewing Room to showcase films every week. This initiative taken by the board is very generous and genuine. RituSarin, who is the festival director, has informed the media sources that the screening of the films will be free of cost given the coronavirus pandemic. The lineup will be changing every two weeks. We all can agree that it is quite unfortunate that the films will not be screened at the event, but looking at the brighter side, the Viewing Room on the official website will have online content for people to watch comfortably sitting on their couches.
Talking about movie buffs, in Delhi NCR the Kriti Film Club has successfully been showcasing documentaries for twenty years now; one movie once a month. And the response initially was not so much. Currently, the team is planning to screen movies on YouTube periodically, keeping the lockdown of the country in mind. However, it is very difficult for such clubs to sustain given the widespread use of the OTT platforms. The young generation is not so patient to wait for some clubs to screen movies once in a month and hence they stick to OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Nevertheless, the response has been quite positive than what the club used to receive before the pandemic crises. Various other clubs have been screening such films free of cost and this will continue till May 1 in order to honor the people who have been worst hit by the pandemic since May 1 is marked as International Labor Day.
In Delhi, a production house, Carrot Films has taken an initiative to hold a short film contest where in the people interested were supposed to submit their short films short within the house. The winning short film is expected to be screened online. The sources have confirmed that the production house has received entries in thousands, which is a clear representation of their enthusiasm.
The film festival authorities were asked if in the future we can rely on the online websites for screening films to which they replied that they would not rely on the online screening but displaying films when it comes to crises like situation then its fine. And the reason to this is pretty simple, people go to film festivals because the feeling that the festivals offer has a different vibe, which in no ways can be replaced by the online screens.
Let’s pray that all of this comes to an end so that some of the greatest films can be experienced on humongous screens rather than the small screens. Nothing can replace that experience!