A selection of SXSW 2020 titles to potentially stream on Amazon for free
SXSW have decided to team up with Amazon Prime to create an opportunity for filmmakers who would've premièred their film at the festival to do so on their platform, while receiving a a streaming fee from the tech giant.
Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection offers the opportunity for films to be shown on the platform for a 10-day period. It will only be available in the US and regardless of their Prime membership status audiences will not have to pay to watch the films.
Jury awards for the festival were held in March as organisers arranged for jury members to watch films via online screeners. Everything but audience awards were handed out in the hope it would help push some of the titles that lost out on the promotion that usually comes with playing at the festival.
Amazon haven't revealed how much each filmmaker will receive for being part of this initiative. It is believed that SWSW and Amazon are aiming to have everything in place to present the films to the public by the end of April.
Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said in a statement: "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.”
It will be interesting to see who takes up this offer as while filmmakers are free to pursue other forms of distribution, it may prove difficult to do so after playing online to potentially millions of viewers for free. Any distributor hoping to see a return on their investment may believe a title initially streaming via this deal will not have much of a future outside of the platform. Especially when you factor in that every film involved is also likely to be ripped and downloaded by countless others within days of playing.