Amazon will host a virtual film festival featuring SXSW films on its Prime Video platform after the iconic Austin festival was cancelled over coronavirus concerns

Image
Ben Platt, Beanie Feldstein and Max Sheldon attend the afterparty for ‘BOOKSMART’ World Premiere at SXSW Film Festival on March 10, 2019 in Austin, Texas. Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for United Artists Releasing
  • Amazon will host a virtual film festival on its Prime Video platform featuring films originally scheduled for Austin’s 2020 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival.
  • The annual festival was cancelled on March 6 over coronavirus concerns.
  • The virtual film festival will run for 10 days in late April and will be free to the public.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Filmmakers whose work was originally slated to debut at South by Southwest in March now have an alternative showcase thanks to Amazon.

The Seattle-based tech giant is partnering with SXSW to launch an online film festival available on Prime Video. The online event will run for 10 days in late April and will be free to the public, with or without an Amazon Prime membership. Viewers will however have to create a free Amazon account, according to a press release.

Filmmakers that were a part of the 2020 lineup have the choice to opt into the festival and will receive a screening free if they decide to be show their films during it.

“We’re honoured to be able to provide a space for the SXSW filmmakers to share their hard work and passion with audiences for the first time,” Head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke said in a press release.

The partnership is an example of how event organisers and many others are having to adapt amid the coronavirus pandemic that has spread to and across the US in recent months. The virus has upended annual events such as SXSW.

The festival, which has as a heavy technology focus, was cancelled on March 6 and was one of many cancelled in February and early March as social distancing became required to help stem the spread of the coronavirus disease.