Art and Experience: For film festivals and markets, all is chaos. Some say the show will go on, or at least some of the show; others are pivoting to a virtual experience, or postponing, or wait-and-seeing, or canceling altogether. Some are open only to industry members, while others offer free and paid programming for the general public. Some are restricted only to residents of specific countries. And all is subject to change.

It’s a lot to track, and we’ll keep doing just that in the weeks and months ahead. Here’s a list of film festivals and markets that have offered some indication about their plans; those not on the list are not necessarily canceled. Many continue to accept submissions, but are mum on how they plan to move forward. The list will be updated as event organizers release information on their plans.


Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival
May 21-June 30

In addition to a full, in-person event that will now take place October 1-11, Inside Out is offering a robust lineup of online programming in the spring, including a look at its 30-year history, a series of short film programs, its LGBTQ Finance Forum, and the Pitch, Please! pitch competition.

Sheffield Doc/Fest and Marketplace
Sheffield, UK

Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Digital Industry Pass offers paid access to a slate of online programs from the UK festival that begin in June. Up first are market events. The MeetMarket nonfiction pitching forum will see 48 projects presented to industry representatives from June 8-10. Alternate Realities Talent Market includes 20 teams matched with curators, exhibitors, galleries, museums, international festivals, broadcasters, funding bodies, NGOs, and distributors.

Screening platform Doc/Player will offer a slate of noncompetitive films through August 31. Talks and panels will stream throughout June, July, and August. Access to pre-recorded pitches, The Whickers Pitch, and Chicken & Egg Pictures (Egg)celerator Lab Pitch, will be available in June, and streaming of weekend panels will be available in the fall.

Lower East Side Film Festival
New York
June 18-29

The 10th anniversary edition will occur online, with feature premieres, short film showcases, panels and conversations.

Nantucket Film Festival
Nantucket, Massachusetts
June 23-30

NFF Now: At Home will offer an online program of features, shorts, Q&As, and conversations.

Frameline44 Pride Showcase
Concord, California
June 25-28

The San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival and the Castro Theatre will host a four-day virtual screening series online and at the West Wind Solana Drive-in Theater in Concord, California.

Cannes Marché du Film
Cannes, France
June 22-26

Cannes Film Festival may not be happening, but its important market is going online. Thousands of film projects will be exhibited at virtual booths and pavilions, while the networking app Match&Meet will facilitate video calls for dealmaking, while film screenings and project presentations will take place in 15 virtual cinemas. A parallel market led by a coalition of US agencies will take place from June 22 – 28.


Karlovy Vary International Film Festival at Your Cinema
Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
July 3 – 11

Organizers canceled the annual summer festival and instead are programming a selection of films from around the world at nearly 100 Czech theaters.

Nevertheless Film Festival
Ann Arbor, Michigan
July 9-12

Geoblock: US

The festival focused on elevating the work of women will take place online. The festival requires that all films have at least 50 percent of behind-the-camera leadership roles be filled by women.

St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase
St. Louis
July 10-19

The annual presentation serves as a primary venue for films made by local filmmakers, this year it’s going online. The program includes narrative and documentary features, short programming blocks, and post-screening Q&As.

Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film
New York City
July 17-30

Geoblock: US

The American festival focused on Japanese cinema is going virtual with some 30 features and shorts, Q&As, discussion panels, and video greetings from filmmakers.

Classic French Film Festival
St. Louis
July 17-23

The annual festival is moving online, and because of its focus on older French works, its programming is being scaled back to fewer titles that are available to stream.

Frontières Co-Production Market
Montreal, Canada
July 23-26

The annual market, typically held in conjunction with Fantasia International Film Festival, is going digital. Planned are a presentation of 10 European and 10 North American projects in development to a group of producers, financiers, agents, and distributors.

BlackStar Film Festival
July 20-August 2

The festival remains scheduled to take place in person.


Locarno Film Festival
Locarno, Switzerland
Dates TBD

Organizers canceled the in-person event this year, which was supposed to take place in August, in favor of a series of initiatives termed Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films. Full details haven’t been announced, but the festival’s short film section, Pardi di domani, will be accessible from August 5-15 online, with a limit of 1,590 viewers per film.

Sarajevo Film Festival
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
August 14-21

The festival in Bosnia & Herzegovina is slated to move forward along with its Talents Sarajevo, which welcomes up-and-coming filmmakers and critics from Southeast Europe and Southern Caucasus.

Fantasia International Film Festival
August 20-September 2

Geoblock: Canada

The genre festival will offer an online program open to those residing in Canada.

American Black Film Festival
Los Angeles
August 21-30

An online edition of the festival will include independent black films, studio premieres, conversations, panels, business seminars, and virtual networking events.

Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART)
Hong Kong
August 27-29

Originally scheduled for the end of March, FILMART is set to move forward in August. Details forthcoming.


Venice International Film Festival
Venice, Italy
September 2-12

Venice has not indicated its plans for the 77th edition of its festival, but it recently opened a call for submissions to its VR Gap Financing Market.

Telluride Film Festival
Telluride, Colorado
September 3-7

Back in May, Telluride, an essential stop on the way to the Oscar race for fall films, affirmed its plans to proceed with an in-person festival, albeit with an extra day for safety plus health protocols on site.

Toronto International Film Festival
September 10-20

North America’s largest festival will split its programming between digital screenings and five days of socially distanced, in-person presentations. The lineup has been dramatically reduced from previous editions, with 50 new feature films and five short film programs. By contrast, the 2019 festival hosted over 300 films.

Atlanta Film Festival
September 17-27

Organizers rescheduled the spring festival for September.

Zurich Film Festival
September 24-August 4

Organizers of the Swiss festival said a government ban on gatherings of over 1,000 people will not impact its late-September event.


Moscow International Film Festival
October 1-8

Originally slated for April, the Russian festival will now take place during the beginning of October.

GI Film Festival San Diego
San Diego
October 1-2

After postponing this year’s event in favor of a May 2021 date, the festival focused on military/veteran-made films is hosting a series of online screenings this October.

Cannes, France
October 9-14

The TV festival originally planned for March has been rescheduled for early October.

Lumière Festival
Lyon, France
October 10-18

The French festival along with its International Classic Film Market will both happen in person in October.

Cannes, France
October 12-15

The world’s largest TV market, held parallel with Canneseries, was also rescheduled for October.

Chicago International Film Festival
October 14-25

Organizers say they’re committed to producing the 56th edition of the festival in mid-October.

Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival
Jihlava, Czech Republic
October 27-November 1

Organizers of the Czech festival say they plan to adapt their plans as necessary, including by limiting venue capacity, setting up additional venues, and holding repeat screenings. They’re looking into accommodations for those vulnerable to infection, including seniors and those with illnesses.

Raindance Film Festival
October 31-November 7

Organizers of the British festival in March announced dates for the annual gathering.

Tokyo International Film Festival
October 31-November 9

The dates of the Tokyo festival remain the same and it is accepting submissions, but organizers say they will respond to conditions out of concern for safety, even if that means a cancelation or postponement.


St. Louis International Film Festival
St. Louis

Organizers have canceled the in-person festival in favor of a virtual one some time in November, with dates and more information to be announced.

American Film Market
Santa Monica, California
November 3-8

Organizers of the annual gathering say they’re planning on holding it as planned with a commitment to conducting business in a safe and secure environment.

November 4-6

The market held in conjunction with the Tokyo International Film Festival opened its call for projects in March for the first edition of the Tokyo Gap-Financing Market. The market aims to support Japanese, Asian, and International producers secure financing for up to 20 film and TV projects through one-on-one meetings.

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
Tallinn, Estonia
November 13-November 29

The festival continues to accept submissions and is preparing for scenarios where it must go fully or partially virtual.

Source: indiewire