Melbourne’s international WebFest has undergone a massive pivot, shifting the festival online to provide the global film industry with creative and networking opportunities amid ongoing lockdowns.
The global arts sector has been hit hard, with the COVID-19 pandemic scuttling live performances and events, heavily impacting the vitality and finances of creative industries.
Melbourne WebFest Director, Lauren Colosimo says the festival’s pivot from the physical to an online setting enables the global film community to continue to showcase, develop and network amid the challenging times.
The festival celebrates digital film as an emerging and entrepreneurial medium, providing a space for professional development that nurtures emerging artists, early-mid careers as well as established screen producers.
“Hopefully this is an opportunity to connect to people from the industry that share similar interests, to create a sense of connection that might be missing right now,” Colosimo says.
“This year there’s no limit to where you will live, to be able to attend, so that’s the most exciting thing for us.”
“The biggest challenge was moving the networking community aspect of the festival onto an online platform, it’s a big part of what makes Melbourne WebFest such a special event.
“We did a lot of research about platforms, about the best ways to run an online festival, and we landed on a program called Hopin.
“We’ve done a lot of work in the backend to make it more tailored to our purposes,” she says.
“We’re about six months into everybody living like this, so hopefully people will easily transition to an online event, but it’s still going to be an experience for the team.”
The festival features on-demand web series screenings, industry panels, development workshops, the live Pitch ABC iview competition, networking opportunities and awards.
Innovative film makers will join a masterclass on creative entrepreneurship hosted by Bec Bignell of Cockatoo Co.Lab, which all explore the creative process, from ideation, funding, production, distribution, audience communities and multi-platform making.
Festival attendees can check out the HOW TO video user guide to the festival’s innovative interactive online platform.
The festival runs from 4-6th September.
Full program details and tickets available at bit.ly/MelbWebFest2020