Cheltenham International Film Festival was the first international film festival in the UK to go online to the British public. The Festival opened with a screening of Lost Transmissions, starring the Festival’s Honorary Patron, Simon Pegg, and directed by first-time, features director, Katharine O’Brien. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Simon.

Background

The Cheltenham International Film Festival was on course to launch the second edition of the film festival; the dates had been set for 25th May to 30th May. All changed on 23rd March when the government announced the lockdown. The organisers quickly had to consider options; cancellation was out of the question. In the end, it was decided to put the festival up online which ran from 8 June-14 June.

Project Aims

- Reach out to audiences in their homes - locked down, self-isolating and social distancing.
- Keep to the spirit of an in-venue, live Festival experience
- Continue to screen the films of emerging filmmakers from around the world
- Leave no audience behind
- Maintain the brand identity of Cheltenham International Film Festival

Achievements

- Attracted new audiences who had never attended a film festival
- Audiences recognised the online event as a ‘film festival’ and not just another streaming platform.
- Provided a diversion and escape for members of the audience in lockdown and in many instances isolated from loved ones.
- Sharing revenue opportunities with local, independent cinemas and film festivals closed because of the lockdown.
- UK premiere of many films by young and emerging filmmakers including the Canadian award-winning film, Antigone.

And, we are especially proud of the high number of films screened during the festival that were directed by women.

You can view the full programme to the Cheltenham International Film Festival Online HERE.