Watch over 70 short films that competed at SXSW 2020 for free
The cancellation of SXSW earlier in the month was one of the first big festivals to suffer at the hands of COVID-19, before a slew of others were quickly forced to follow suit. While it hurt many of the independent films that were hoping to enjoy some festival buzz, SXSW organisers decided the best course of action was to send screeners to jurors in the hope the awards would attract some of the lost media and audience attention.
Deadline have also reported that SXSW are working with Oscilloscope Pictures and MailChimp to make nearly all the short films that played at the festival available to watch online for free. The shorts are accessible through the MailChimp Presents streaming platform, which will feature 4 award winners and 7 special recognition films.
Director of Programming for Mailchimp Studios, Sarita Alami, said in a statement: “The night that SXSW was cancelled, filmmakers were wondering what to do next, and prominent members of the tight-knit film community offered support and a signal-boost — we wondered if we could do the same at scale. With this project, we’re trying to accomplish two things: to offer these artists a platform for exposure, and to provide access to some amazing work from artists I’m sure we’ll be hearing about for a long time to come. And, we’re excited that many people who weren’t planning on attending the festival, as well as those who were, will get to enjoy them too.”
While, of course, there were no audience screenings at SXSW, and subsequently no audience awards, this offers a rare chance to check out an array of diverse and exciting directing talents in the early stages of their careers. Feature films will not be made available to screen via this initiative, although we can probably expect to see a number of them (especially those who remain unsold) appear on streaming platforms earlier than expected, as the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu look for fast content.