The Chattanooga Film Festival may not be an in-person event this year, but that will not stop the festival from having its share of star power. Sponsored by ALTER and Bloody-Disgusting.com, CFF will be running a full slate of movies from May 22 to the 25th through an online venue. Because of COVID-19, CFF will still provide a bevy of online panels, features, and live events to compliment the lineup of short films.
“To be honest, we weren’t sure that, with the pandemic, we could even have the film festival this year,” said Christopher Dortch Sr, who has helped organize the festival.
“We’re excited to not only resurrect the festival from the dead, but make it even bigger and better. I mean there’s no way we could’ve gotten Ice-T to come to Chattanooga, but we got him to do a virtual chat with one of his filmmaking mentors.”
Law and Order: SVU star, and acclaimed musician Ice-T will be joining cinematographer Ernest Dickerson for a conversation about their classic film ”Surviving the Game.” Later on, CFF’s “patron saint” Joe Bob Briggs will talk with filmmaker Mick Garris about Stephen King’s “The Stand.”
The festival may be based in Chattanooga, but it features movies from local talents and from filmmakers in countries thousands of miles away. These international films span a multitude of genres and styles as well.
“We’ve got a film from Taiwan, from Finland, and Japan,” said Mr. Dortch. “My son, who is a movie historian, always looks at the foreign market.”
CFF will also feature a discussion from Alex Winter, who will provide a detailed look into the long process behind creating his new documentary “Zappa.” Metal band Gwar will also be taking live questions from fans in celebration of the 30th anniversary of their record “Scumdogs of the Universe.” These are just a few of the features CFF will show off during their virtual festival.
According to Chattfilmfest.org, viewers will be able to purchase different badges on the website on May 15. Single-day access badges will be available for $10, with all-access badges available for $30. A VIP option for $100 will allow viewers to view additional titles and other special events.
“This virtual edition of CFF 2020 is possible thanks to Microsoft and its partners, MediaKind, Evergent, VisualOn, Media Team and Slalom,” says the site. “As previously announced, features and short films will be streamed through MediaKind’s MediaFirst TV Platform hosted on Azure.”
The Chattanooga Film Festival can only viewed on the Safari and Microsoft Edge browsers, in order to deter pirating.
“All of us are deadly serious about preventing piracy, so we’ve taken a lot of steps,” said Mr. Dortch. “We’ve limited our sales to 30,000, and we’re banning the use of the Chrome Browser, because those have had issues in the past.”
”We’ve tested Safari and Edge rigorously, and nobody could crack those. Then we’ve got a pledge on our ticket sales that just reminds people that, once again, that these are artists who are trying to make money from their art, and piracy is unlawful.”
The Chattanooga Film Festival will feature 46 short films and 30 feature films. Information on CFF can be found on Chattfilmfest.org.