St. Louis International Film Festival goes virtual

Coronavirus forces November event to go online.

Brian Kelly
May 24, 2020 - 2:08 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX)-The coronavirus is prompting the St. Louis International Film Festival to move online. 

In the words of Cinema St. Louis Executive Director Cliff Froehlich, "No one should have to risk their health, or even their life, for the sake of seeing a film".

Froehlich tells Total Information AM Weekend that because no one knows if venues would be available, or if it would safe to go to theaters in November, the decision was made to make the 2020 festival a virtual event. "Trying to pretend that everything was going to be normal, with the prospect that things could totally fall apart at the last minute, and then we'd have to pivot, struck us as being not a wise move." 

By making the decision now, he says, they'll be able to involve the two-hundred or so filmmakers whose works will be featured. "By conducting interviews with them in advance, setting up some live events during the course of the festival via Zoom or some other means in order to ensure there is interactivity and that our patrons will have the ability to hear directly from filmmakers, documentary subjects and experts in general."

Froehlich says the films shown will be the same and instead of having to be at a certain place at a certain time to see them, you'll be able to watch them online at your convenience during the days of the festival.

 "The vast majority of people watch films at home as opposed to going to the theater," he says. "Now, we love the theatrical experience and we don't want to see it disappear, but in this instance we felt it was the right thing to do to ensure the health and safety of the patron." 

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