With the Chattanooga Film Festival having originally been slated for April 16-19, organizers made the hard, but necessary, decision in March to postpone the festival amid the global health pandemic. In looking for a way to provide entertainment and community for everyone sheltering-in-place, the Chattanooga Film Festival has been offered an opportunity to work with Microsoft and its partners MediaKind, Evergent, VisualOn and Slalom, to present a full, four-day interactive, virtual version of the physical festival, targeted for mid-May.
This unique event will provide attendees with the ability to connect, discuss and network in real time while enjoying the Chattanooga Film Festival’s features, shorts, panels and live events by using communications and media technology in new collaborative ways.
The festival’s feature and short films will be streamed through MediaKind’s MediaFirst TV Platform hosted on Azure. Films will only be accessible during the festival’s four days. Microsoft Teams live events will power post-film Q&As, panels, and live events. Supported by integrations with Evergent and VisualOn, the film community and cinephiles in the United States will be able to purchase badges that allow them access the event from any device and interact with up and coming filmmakers and respected industry experts.
Proceeds will benefit the Chattanooga Film Festival, an official 501(c)(3). In an effort to help the filmmakers who participate, the festival will pay-it-forward by splitting part of the proceeds with them. Virtual badges will be capped at 30,000 attendees and are available from $10 for one-day access, $30 for full four-day access, and VIP access for $100. The VIP pass will allow folks to gain access to a few additional titles and provide the opportunity to give extra support to the festival and the filmmakers.
As always, the Chattanooga Film Festival’s programming will have exciting world premieres, lovingly curated cult classics and everything in between, said officials. In addition to their signature film programming, the Chattanooga Film Festival is planning an eclectic array of live events to replicate the experience of their festival. An official lineup will be released in the coming weeks, along with official dates.
Executive director and lead programmer, Chris Dortch II said, “In addition to the films we screen every year, the heart and soul of the festival are the friends we make and the community. When Microsoft approached us with this idea, we knew it meant the difference for the Chattanooga Film Festival surviving as an arts nonprofit. We are excited to innovate with Microsoft and MediaKind to deliver a virtual film festival that helps our community connect during these times.”
To sign up to be notified when official dates are announced and when to purchase virtual badges, head to chattfilmfest.org.
*The content curated by Chattanooga Film Festival contains content for mature audiences, so discretion is advised. The Chattanooga Film Festival has suggested ratings on all content, these ratings have not been reviewed or attested by the MPAA or ESRB.