The COVID-19 Plan – FILA 2020

Online Screenings. Physical screenings are cancelled. We are exploring options for online screenings. Any online screenings will be voluntary. We are aware that some filmmakers save their “online premiere” while others fear the piracy risks posed by streaming. Next week filmmakers can expect us to share options with them and see who prefers what, if any, online screenings to participate in.

Online Filmmaker Awards. We will announce our Grand Jury Prize, Filmmakers Prize, and Programmers Prize awards with a videoconference on Sunday, June 7 at 12pm Pacific. (We are going to skip the Audience Awards because, sadly, we cannot have an audience this year.). We intentionally chose a time that allows our filmmakers in Europe to participate without being up in the middle of the night.

Online Screenwriting Awards. As we do every year at FILA, we will hold a ceremony specifically for the unproduced screenplays that are Official Selections at our festival this year. This year it will be a video conference in which each screenwriter will get their own time “on stage” to share their logline and talk a little about their script. Once everyone has shared their pitch, we will announce the Grand Jury Prize winner for Best Unproduced Screenplay.

Q&A Sessions. With or without screenings, we plan to record video chat Q&A sessions between our programmer and each filmmaker (or filmmaking team.) We plan to prepare for this by having members of our award juries write questions for the filmmakers in advance. This way the Q&A’s will have questions posed by an audience immediately after viewing your film just like we would’ve had at an actual screening. If we do work out some online screenings, we may include Q&A’s then as well. It is our hunch that a videoconference Q&A with a handful of attendees would be bedlam, but maybe we will try it.

In-Person Mixer. It is our plan to invite all of the filmmakers, screenwriters, their crews and their friends to an actual gathering as soon as it is safe to do so. July? September? Who knows. When the coast is clear and we can come out of our bunkers, everyone who should have met at FILA 2020 will meet! Hopefully we can do this somewhere fun that can show a loop of everyone’s trailers playing on TV’s in whatever bar/club/theater we rent for this event.  We even plan to set up the Stand & Repeat so that we can make up for the lack of festival photographs.