Cinema South Film Festival started in 2001. It is an international student film festival and belongs to Sapir Academic College.
The college has a very large film department consisting of more than 600 students and faculty. Sapir film school offers courses and degrees in film production, scriptwriting, film theory, sound engineering, animation, and technical qualification for TV technicians. The festival is also a member of CILECT, the association of film and television schools and screens CILECT films from all over the world.
The Main Challenges
Most student films are short and are usually screened in thematic batches, one after the other. At the time of the festival, we didn’t have yet a multi-films screening option and we had to develop it urgently. Luckily and thanks to the hard work done by our devoted team, we completed it enough time in advance to let the festival team practice its use.
The multi-film screening feature was described in length in the post dedicated to Animest, so it will not be repeated here.
Another significant challenge was in the ability to combine together live and virtual screenings:
At the time of the festival, a general lockdown was just lifted and gatherings of groups of up to 10 people were allowed.
Therefore, the festival planned community screenings at homes around the town surrounding the college.
The plan was to conduct some of the Q&A sessions in those homes and broadcast them online in parallel.
Imagine the following: An in-person screening starts at 20:00 in a house, with 8 viewers, the film director, and a host.
At the same time, an online screening begins ad is available to remote viewers around the country.
At 21:00, right after the credits, a Q&A session starts in the living room.
A cameraman from the audience captures the Q&A and broadcasts it live to Movies Everywhere server.
We integrate that stream in the screening page so that the online viewers can watch the Q&A in real-time. They can also pose questions in the chat on the page, which the host can see and ask the director.
A LiveU Solo device was bought for that purpose and the festival team practiced the implementation.
Then, a few days before the first event took place, COVID-19 infection was on the rise again and even those small screenings were banned. We had to cancel all our plans for hybrid screenings, but the models we were working on proved that this scenario is definitely feasible and can be also implemented in the future, in a post-pandemic world.
Read here a detailed description of such a hybrid event in our blog.
Cinema South Film Festival is also an industry event. As such, it hosts and conducts masterclasses, workshops, and a pitching event.
It’s true that those events could have been held on Zoom, but the festival organizers wanted to achieve more. They set the following goals:
- Hold closed events, to invitees only.
- Conduct the event in a graphically branded environment, in which the festival identity has a presence.
- Combine live videos in high quality during the events, coming from a server and not shared from Zoom, which tends to be jumpy and with interruptions.
All these were achieved by using Movies Everywhere screening pages. It was a change in mindset for us too and since then, we hosted theatrical shows, webinars, and more — all following the principles outlined above: event by invitation (with registration), graphic branding, and integration of high-quality video during a meeting.
As with all of our clients, whether institutional or individual, the account remains open for no charge after the main event, to allow further events, paid only upon actual use.
|The festival, along with the film department in Sapir College, is conducting from time to time closed screenings for students and faculty, using Movies Everywhere whenever they need it.