Film festivals have long been a place where movie lovers can congregate and share their love of cinema together, often in a ritzy theater where a movie star may make an appearance. But the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has all but hed the film festival season, and many have been forced to postpone or cancel completely to curb the spread of the virus. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate cinema from the comfort of our couches.
The TCM Classic Film Festival and The Found Footage Festival are holding special at-home editions of their festivals for fans of classic films and bizarre VHS discoveries, respectively. Here’s how you can participate in these film festival at home editions.
The annual TCM Classic Film Festival is usually held in the heart of Hollywood, but now TCM and host Ben Mankiewicz are bringing Hollywood to you. The TCM Classic Film Festival: Special Home Edition is an on-air celebration of the TCM classic movies and “moments from the past decade that fans can enjoy from the comfort of their homes.”
The festival’s four-day schedule will include showings of its slate of classic movies like A Star is Born, Metropolis, The Seventh Seal, A Hard Day’s Night, North By Northwest, Some Like It Hot, Network, Casablanca, and more, as well as footage from past festivals, interviews with special guests, and events to follow on-air and online.
Oddly, this at-home edition feels fitting for the TCM Classic Film Festival — we all have memories of turning TCM on late at night and “discovering” some classic movie it was airing. This festival feels like it was made for an on-air version, and feels like a return to the network’s roots.
The special at-home edition of the festival begins April 16 at 8:00 P.M. continuing until April 19 and airs on TCM. See the full schedule for the TCM Classic Film Festival here.
The Found Footage Festival
On the slightly kookier side of things, The Found Footage Festival will be doing its own at-home edition — but exclusively online. Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, who have long shared their eclectic collection of the strangest things ever put on VHS — ranging from home videos, exercise tapes, instructional videos, to bad pornos — are still holding their Found Footage Festival, streaming it for free on the Found Footage Festival website through March 31.
The duo will also be livestreaming and delivering bonus content for their Patreon supporters.
“If, like us, you’re stuck inside and bored of Netflix already, we’ve got you covered. Joe and I are back from our UK tour and have self-quarantined ourselves in our office of 11,000 tapes with nothing but time to watch them with you,” they wrote in an email to subscribers via AV Club. “Want a full hour of Joe’s Tedium Corner? Joe is insisting on it. Want a live camera on Nick’s dog Marty for an hour? It’s going to happen.”
It feels a little threatening, only because it is. To follow up on that threat, Pickett and Prueher shared an inexplicable compilation of Magical Sponge lady, which is one of the highlights of their collection.
The Tribeca Film Festival was supposed to run April 15 – 26 this year – but obviously, things have changed. The coronavirus caused the fest to postpone those dates, with alternative dates left up in the air. Now, it looks like Tribeca has found a solution: a virtual festival. Details are extremely slim at the moment, but Jane Rosenthal, the CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, made the announcement via social media.
Here’s some good news for your Monday morning. My friend Jane Rosenthal and her team – meeting by Zoom! – are planning to bring @Tribeca Film Fest to you virtually! She just sent me this video with more details. pic.twitter.com/NTtma2TYdu
— Rebecca Jarvis @RebeccaJarvis March 30, 2020
In the video above, Tribeca Enterprises CEO Jane Rosenthal says: “We’re going to be bringing you Tribeca Film Festival virtually very soon, so stay tuned for that announcement.” The wording there makes it clear that this isn’t the “official” announcement of the virtual fest yet – but now the news is out there. I’ve reached out to Tribeca for more info, and will update when I have it.
For now, though, we have to wonder exactly what this means. Is every film that was set to play the fest going to be available virtually? I have a hard time believing that, personally. But then again, things have changed drastically in the last few months, and we’re entering a strange new world for movies. Theaters across the globe have been shut down due to coronavirus, and there’s no real end in sight. Tribeca announced its postponement earlier this month, coming on the heels of the cancelation of SXSW. Since then, Cannes has also postponed their dates, and we’re all still unsure of what will be delayed or canceled next. Comic-Con? TIFF? The New York Film Festival? Fantastic Fest? Just how much longer will this go on?
All of this raises another question: will other festivals be following Tribeca’s lead here? Are we about to see a virtual Cannes? A virtual TIFF? Again, I have a hard time accepting that idea – not because I’m against it, but because it seems unlikely that filmmakers will agree to it. Part of the appeal of getting your movie into a festival is the thrill of being able to screen it to a packed audience, and then the buzz that follows with that. That’s just not the same as having your film available to screen online.
In the meantime, you can see a list of the Tribeca 2020 lineup here. Time will tell how many of these titles will be available via the virtual Tribeca Film Festival.