Going Virtual: Staying Connected with Audiences Online

How exhibitors can innovate with Cinema Video On-Demand services

Practicalities for cinema programmers to consider when planning a VOD programming project.

COVID-19 has forced us to find new and innovative ways to stay connected to audiences throughout lockdown. The pandemic has kickstarted an evolution of our viewing habits, and there’s no doubt that “presenting films via online streaming will remain an important complementary activity for cinemas and festivals for the foreseeable future.” (James Rice of INDY Cinema Group)

We’ve put together a host of resources to help you navigate approaches to online screenings.

More resources..

Catch up on Film Hub South West‘s session with SQIFF Co-founder and Producer, Helen Wright, and freelance accessibility consultant, Charlotte Little.

The workshop ‘making online film events accessible’ covered the use of different online software and platforms, accessible communication, and how to integrate access support provision such as live captioning and BSL-English interpretation to events.

View the presentation slides

Watch the session

Claire Vaughan, Cinema Programmer at Chapter (Film Hub Lead Organisation for Wales) has written a comprehensive guide on how to plan a Watch-along with things you’ll need to consider before putting your event live.

Cardiff Animation Festival

In March 2020, following the closure of venues due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Cardiff Animation Festival made the difficult to decision to take their festival online.

The team’s flexible and agile approach to this move meant that many screenings and events from the festival were still able to take place, and helped to connect the team with their audience even when we couldn’t be a cinema together.

They’ve put together a practical guide (with support from Ffilm Cymru Wales), providing an insight into the thought processes behind choices made by the festival when creating their online screenings and interacting with audiences, as well as providing information around the practicalities of using online streaming platforms for many different types of events including workshops, panels and networking events.

Read the resource

Iris Prize

We’ve had various conversations with festivals of all sizes and there’s a lot of information out there, which can feel overwhelming. We wanted to take some time out to talk things through together.

We invited Berwyn Rowlands, Director of Iris Prize and FHW advisory group member, to share their plans to take Iris online in 2020.

Around 40 film festivals from Borderlines to Oska Bright joined us, with Berwyn also offering eight one-to-ones after the session.

From this, we put together some top tips and other useful resources to help. Members can also access a recording of the session via our preview room

View the page

Email us to gain access to two databases which include a list of Virtual Film Festival Platforms and a Virtual Screening Guide. It also includes a directory to help you navigate virtual screening technology and live event producers who can be hired to manage virtual screenings and events.