What to know about the free virtual film festivals from SXSW, Amazon, Tribeca, and YouTube

The SXSW/Amazon collaboration is available now, while the YouTube showcase, which includes programming from 20 top film festivals, arrives next month.

The SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection is now available to watch on Amazon. SXSW/Amazon

Even with movie theaters shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, film fanatics have a lot to look forward to during the next six weeks.

Back in March, the annual South by Southwest tech, music, and film festival was one of the first major events to be canceled due to the coronavirus. Now, viewers will be able to enjoy 39 titles that would have played at the Austin festival for free.

South by Southwest inked a deal with Amazon to stream a 10-day film festival from April 27 to May 6, during which viewers will be able to access a range of documentaries, narrative films, short films, and episodic titles with or without an Amazon account.

While many of the marquee movies set to premiere at SXSW are being held by their distributors, there are still a number of intriguing titles available in the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection. Highlights include “Cursed Films,” a five-part documentary series about some of the most notoriously cursed Hollywood film productions in history, as well as “TFW NO GF,” a documentary about five disaffected young men who have been radicalized by dark corners of the internet. To see the full list of SXSW films playing, visit Amazon’s SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection website.

On the same day that SXSW’s collection became available, Tribeca Film Festival — which was supposed to run from April 15-26 — announced a 10-day film fest of its own that will be available on YouTube.

Titled “We Are One: A Global Film Festival,” the fest will run from May 29-June 7, 2020 and will have least 20 top film festivals contributing programming, including Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and Venice Film Festival. Tribeca Enterprises, the company behind the Tribeca Film Festival, will organize the festival, which will be available for free on YouTube with no ads.


Tribeca and YouTube did not reveal any information about the festival lineup, which will include films, shorts, documentaries, music, comedy, and conversations. A full schedule will be available closer to the festival start date, according to a press release.

“We Are One: A Global Film Festival unites curators, artists and storytellers to entertain and provide relief to audiences worldwide,” Jane Rosenthal, head of Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival, said in the release. “In working with our extraordinary festival partners and YouTube we hope that everyone gets a taste of what makes each festival so unique and appreciates the art and power of film.”


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