Vilnius International Film Festival goes online, creates digital model for others to follow

2020 04 20

After spending an entire year preparing for the 25th anniversary of the Vilnius International Film Festival (Vilnius IFF), organisers had less than a week to move the event from cinemas to streaming platforms.
With all mass gatherings banned by the Lithuanian government to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the team quickly adapted and accomplished what seemed like an impossible task – going fully digital. The story of their success has captivated the interest of many other festivals that may be facing similar challenges in the near future, as the pandemic continues to affect cultural events all over the world.
By the end of the festival, the featured films had been streamed more 56,000 times. Moreover, according to data collected by the research company Kantar, the streams were most often watched by two people, which adds up to some 112,000 total viewers – a pretty impressive turnout considering that 126,000 filmgoers attended last year’s festival.
In total, 69 per cent of the programme – 118 films – made it onto streaming sites and on-demand TV. The Polish film Corpus Christi by director Jan Komasa won the Audience Prize.

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