What is the future of Film Festival in Digital Era?

What is the future of Film Festival in Digital Era?
What is the future of Film Festival in Digital Era?

The global COVID pandemic shifted things radically and impacted every segment of the world. Film festivals that were mainstream for all those years suddenly fell on the face and lost all their audience due to the compulsion of social distancing.

However, the same scenario of the pandemic pushed everyone toward entertainment more than ever. To get rid of the feeling of isolation and sadness, people headed toward online means of enjoyment, and platforms like Netflix and YouTube started receiving huge amounts of traffic, so this going to become future of film festival.

This upsurge in consuming content online was noticed by many and more streaming platforms were added to the list.

The Dawn Of Online Streaming

Today, things have been normalized and we are again in close proximity. However, people now have identified the convenience of online entertainment and hence they are not going back to the traditional route. The same applies to film festivals as well; these festivals have recognized the interest of their audience in online streaming and are on the way to fulfilling their needs.

As a result, several film festivals have started launching their films on online streaming platforms. These film festivals are now more hybrid, which is a blend of both offline and online presentations of films.

Seeing the progress of the film festivals, it can be said that they will continue to bring the content to their audience, however now via the online medium. Now films are launched online, questions and answers happen via Zoom, and everyone enjoys the screenings from their comfort zone in their PJs.

A Different Approach To Creators

This concept of online festival film streaming has also liberated more people to attend these shows as there are no geographical restrictions anymore.

Not just the audiences but this new approach toward online streaming has also liberated creators from all around the world. Today they can create with more freedom without being obstructed by geographics or strict rules and policies of film festivals.

Today there are many options through which they can submit their short films to many festival submission sites and get approval online. Speaking of which, let’s list out some of the best sites that can help creators submit their next short film to a digital film festival.

Why Will The Hybrid Mode Work Out?

Since hybrid blends both in-person and virtual aspects of an event, it has many advantages. The number one reason for hybrid festivals working out better is accessibility. The audience hence can attend the festival in a mode that is more convenient to them.

People who want to save up on transportation and accommodation costs or can’t access the geo-location will benefit greatly from the virtual mode. Also, people who are visually challenged or have impaired hearing sense will be able to join virtual festivals. Here they can choose closed captioning which lets them comprehend the event better.

On the other hand, people who are more into experiencing the festive vibe of the event and want a closer connection with the audience can go for the physical event.

To understand the edge that the hybrid mode has over traditional festivals, let’s discuss this study that was conducted by the Canada Council for the Arts and Nordicity. More than 150 people participated in the study among which more than half were filmmakers and in the creative field. These people having worked in the industry for more than a decade shared their experiences regarding online or hybrid festivals.

This is what the study found related to the barriers and benefits of this shift:

  • 74% of the participants said to have attended the virtual film festival since 2020.
  • 71% of them agreed about the benefit of more accessibility since the arrival of virtual festivals.
  • 50% of them also indicated that they got the opportunity to cover more people as their audience.
  • 64% of these participants also expressed their challenges regarding audience engagement

On the basis of this study also, it can be said that the hybrid mode will be here for longer as it offers some significant advantages related to accessibility and global audience reach.

However, it also has a downside of losing touch with one another that a physical space provides.  New creators also lose opportunities to do networking and sales if they do not attend the events physically.

Festival Submission Sites For Film Creators To Consider

If you want to give your film a festive vibe, look no further than these budget-friendly festival submission sites. Choose among these sites to submit your entry and spread your work to the right audience.

1) Filmfreeway

FilmFreeway allows creators to submit their entries for free. The same applies to those who want to organize an event here; the platform is free of charge. The platform was founded in 2014 and has gained popularity because of its cost-effective system. Some film and event organizers may charge, however, that doesn’t cross 4 to 6 percent commission


WFCN or the World Film Communities Networks is known for its interactive feature that lets the filmmakers and organizers have discussions with each other. This platform works like a collaboration medium for both parties where they can build strong networking. The platform is free to use and doesn’t charge any party.


GUDSHO is a niche-specific platform which lets creators have a targeted audience related to the fitness and education industry. Additionally, they feature Indie and short films created by all new and experienced creators. So if you also have a submission to make or want to create your own channel, choose GUDSHO as a feature-rich and secure platform and showcase your artistry.

4) Festhome

Filmmakers who are looking to upload large files to the server should choose Festhome. These people allow up to 20 GB of files to upload which gets stored on the server. This way you can access the file whenever you want without having to upload it again. The platform enables organizers and members to collaborate; entry submission does not charge anything.

5) Submittable

If you can spend a little bit to make your submissions, then Submittable is a good platform to utilize. Many video contests happen on the website where the organizers choose the video files to publish. You can submit all your manuscripts here and track them in one place. Their customer service is something they are known for; give it a try anytime you feel confused or have some queries.

6) Shift72

The platform organizes both offline and streaming film festival. The DRM tool comes in handy to give you complete control over your content. Creators can control the rental windows plus add watermarks in their videos to protect the credit. You can also experiment with the number of devices that a user can have in their account.

7) Shortfilmdepot

This one charges you a little fee to accept the submission of your short film. As the name implies, the platform is designed for filmmakers. Here payment is needed to use the platform and the submission charges nothing.

8) Click for festivals

The Spanish film distribution company lets you submit your creations via links from cloud storage like Dropbox. You can also submit many entries at once which saves you time and hassle while giving your films a chance to expand.

9) MoviBeta

Similarly, on MoviBeta, you can submit your film to their server or you can also link them if your files are in cloud storage. However, as a creator, you need to pay a certain fee to use their platform.

10) Docfilmdepot

This platform mostly features Europe-based virtual film festivals in 2023. As its name suggests, the site is popular to submit documentaries. You can either submit your entry online or mail them via DVD.

11) FilmFest Platform

This platform is dedicated to festivals that are conducted in France and countries where French is used as a prime language. You can also submit a film made in English, however, they require you to submit French subtitles.

And The Epilogue!

What started as a byproduct of COVID has now become a fully-fledged thing of the era and a major supporter of the economy. Many upcoming virtual film festivals are there on the way to stream themselves online and the rest are already in the queue.

With everything being normalized, the future of film festival is hybrid where they will organize it physically as well as virtually. More audiences will be there, breaking any geographical boundaries and getting pleasure from the virtual world for concerts, award shows, festivals, and whatnot.

This is a big opportunity for film creators where they can submit their entries online. We hope the above-mentioned platforms would be helpful in your journey of establishing yourself as a filmmaker and showcasing your work to the world. No more hustle and bustle even as a new creator, just submit your film on these online film festival platforms and wait for your chance to get lucky.