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The 2020 Film Festival Survival Pledge

By signing the 2020 Film Festival Survival Pledge, film festivals and distributors support the independent film community affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, by pledging to:

ONLINE ELIGIBILITY: Temporarily revise policies prohibiting screening of films that were once available online to now make any films that screen online in an official ticketed festival capacity screening and competition-eligible.

PREMIERE STATUS: Uphold the intended film premiere status for a festival, in the event that festival moves their program online.

GEOBLOCKING WAIVER: If a film screens online for a preceding, non-geographically competing festival in an official ticketed festival capacity (when granular geoblocking technology, smaller than at the country level, is unavailable), temporarily waive policies requiring geographically-based premiere.

PRODUCTION TIMELINE: When accepting submissions for the 2020-2021 festival cycle, temporarily waive policies limiting screening and competition eligibility of films produced within a specific timeframe to include films that were eligible in the previous festival cycle.

COMMITMENT TIMELINE: Uphold these commitments for the duration of 2020.  For festivals occurring in 2021, the Production Timeline clause will stand up to the date of your festival in order to protect 2020 films.

DISTRIBUTOR CLAUSE:  A distributor can further strengthen this pledge by committing to recognize that by screening online in a fixed-term, pay-wall enforced, official festival capacity (that is geoblocked to a particular area), a film is not earning revenue or being sold to consumers in a traditional VOD market and, therefore, remains viable for future sales opportunities.

Take action to support the independent film ecosystem in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.

Seed&Spark is working on a solution to bring festivals online. If you're interested, let's talk. 

These organizations have taken the pledge:

    The far-reaching impact of this global pandemic has disrupted the independent filmmaking ecosystem, cancelling film festivals nationwide and preventing audiences from building community through film at a time when human connection is more important than ever. We're spearheading an effort at Seed&Spark to make it possible for creators and festivals to safely move to an online engagement – to provide critical revenue for festivals and a necessary platform for creators to meaningfully connect to audiences. Long-standing industry-wide policies have prevented festivals from going online, and prevented filmmakers and distributors from agreeing to it. We need a groundswell of commitment from festivals and distributors to temporarily waive these policies in the interest of the independent film community at large.


    Our friends at Film Freeway have made it so that you can view all the festivals in their system who are participating in the pledge on one easy page.

    Go to Film Freeway


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