On March 6, SXSW (South By South West) announced that its ultra-popular film, music and tech festival and conference would be canceled this year due to coronavirus concerns. However, there is a silver lining. The organization is now partnering with Amazon for “Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection.” Filmmakers who were scheduled to screen their work at this year’s conference will have the opportunity to do so during this 10-day online event, which will be free to all audiences around the country, with or without an Amazon Prime membership. Organizers are targeting a late April 2020 time frame for the event.
We were delighted when Amazon Prime Video offered to host an online film festival, and jumped at the opportunity to connect their audiences to our filmmakers. We’re inspired by the adaptability and resilience of the film community as it searches for creative solutions in this unprecedented crisis.Janet Pierson, Director of Film at SXSW
This year marks the first time since 1987 that SXSW did not take place. 400,000 attendees and participants were expected to convene in Austin, Texas between March 13 and March 22. Austin Mayor Steven Adler estimated that the loss of economic activity related to this year’s cancellation would about to $350 million. The Stand With Austin Fund has been launched by the Austin Community Foundation “to support nonprofits assisting individuals and small businesses most negatively impacted by the cancellation of SXSW and least able to recover on their own.” Donations can be made HERE.