Amazon Prime Video and SXSW are joining forces to launch a 10-day free-to-view platform of selections from the cancelled SXSW by filmmakers who opt in.
The initiative, called Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection, is the latest online solution amid the coronavirus pandemic. The festival had been set to run March 13-22.
Films will be available in front of the Prime Video paywall and free to all audiences around the country, with or without an Amazon Prime membership. To access, viewers need a free Amazon account.
Filmmakers who choose to participate will receive a screening fee for streaming their film over the 10-day period. The launch date is yet to be announced, but SXSW and Prime Video are targeting late April. SXSW has shared details with 2020 filmmakers, who can opt in starting today (April 2).
Further details remained unclear at time of writing although the nature of the partnership suggests filmmakers without sales agents or distribution were most likely to consider the value of the initiative.
It is understood Amazon Studios will not get first option on acquiring any of the films should it wish to do so.
Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said: “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. It’s been a privilege collaborating with Janet Pierson and the SXSW team to bring these diverse and inspiring films to viewers around the country. We are supporters of SXSW and other independent film festivals, and hope this online film festival can help give back some of that experience, and showcase artists and films that audiences might otherwise not have had the chance to see.”
“Ever since SXSW was cancelled by the City of Austin, we’ve been focused on how we could help the incredible films and filmmakers in the SXSW 2020 Film Festival line-up,” said Janet Pierson, SXSW director of film. “We were delighted when Amazon Prime Video offered to host an online film festival, and jumped at the opportunity to connect their audiences to our filmmakers. We’re inspired by the adaptability and resilience of the film community as it searches for creative solutions in this unprecedented crisis.”