Crowdfunding and SVOD platform Seed&Spark has launched a new online screening platform meant to serve as the backbone of online events. The move comes as an increasing number of film festivals are moving into digital spaces and searching for the right tech solutions to power their virtual events. The new platform, announced oday, is geared towards entertainment, arts, and impact organizations, many of which are in desperate need of revenue streams after in-person events have been canceled. It supports time-based events with ticketed screenings, shorts, series programs, and live Q&As.
“We’re thrilled to be launching our online screening platform to power events for organizations that also care deeply about the survival and wellbeing of the creative ecosystem,” said Emily Best, founder and CEO of Seed&Spark, in an official statement. “Participating in online festivals is critical for our collective cultural health — the filmmakers, arts organizations, cultural curators and audiences in communities large and small. The three festivals kicking off this launch with us are a perfect example of the true diversity of programming perspectives we need for creators’ work to really move the culture forward.”
The first event powered by Seed&Spark’s platform, The NewFilmmakers LA Monthly Film Festival, will run June 5-7 and will include InFocus: Female Cinema, InFocus: Asian Cinema, and other official selections from the March and April 2020 monthly festivals postponed due to the pandemic. “The Big Sick” screenwriter Emily V. Gordon and CNN contributor and author Jeff Yang will introduce Q&As.
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A deep roster of assorted celebrities have also signed on to host Q&As for online film festivals competing in the online space. Among them are Kumail Nanjiani, Mark and Jay Duplass, Jason Reitman, Lena Waithe, and Olivia Wilde.
Cineola, the festival focused on Latinx in film, will run June 6-12 and will feature a shorts block discussion with a special introduction by “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow. Proceeds will benefit San Francisco venues The Roxie and Artists’ Television Access, as well as CARECEN SF.
LGBTQ shorts showcase Big Read: Our Stories, Our Lives will be held on June 6. Organized by the California LGBT Arts Alliance, the event will include film screenings and readings from a collection of poems about memory, gender, and identity by Stephanie Burt.
Best said the platform will allow these festivals to expand their reach beyond their host cities. Seed&Spark-powered screenings can be watched on any internet-connected device, cast to a Chromecast or via AirPlay.
Seed&Spark earlier launched a multi-pronged Film Festival Survival Pledge to help support the health of online film festivals by encouraging festivals and industry leaders to agree to needed rule changes.