The Cheltenham International Film Festival, scheduled to take place 25th May – 31st May, has been cancelled and will now take place in the Autumn from 16th October – 1st November, 2020. Meanwhile, in order not to disappoint audiences and filmmakers, the festival organisers are working to upload an alternative version of the May Festival online, keeping as much as possible to the original programme.

The online version seeks to maintain the shared experience of film festivals. At this time, films would be programmed to screen at set times to give a sense of occasion to the streamed film. Audiences would be invited and have the opportunity to discuss the film after each screening. The idea is to engage with and to connect people – family memberss., friends, neighbours, colleagues, as well new contacts – self-isolating and now more or less confined to their homes. We will introduce audience awards to engage audiences with the Festival. And, we are considering post-screening Q&A with filmmakers and cast members.

There is much to do but the organisers are hoping to have the Festival ready to launch on 25th May as planned with one major change to extend the Festival to the 5th June, to allow more films to be screened and more audience to to view films.