Two options arose for the film festivals of 2020. Across the entire festival circuit, events, screenings, and conferences were either cancelled or went online. In coming to terms with a global freeze on media production, festivals round the world accepted fundamental transformations in regard to distributing festival works. Most festivals amid the pandemic reconfigured the ample exhibition opportunities provided by the circuit itself. The festival resources that were utilized to facilitate urgent measures became especially transparent in establishing virtual festival success.

Prior to COVID-19, festivals with strong and consistent virtual offerings utilized their contingency plans as they continued to program Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), or Artificial Intelligence (AI) based projects. Importantly, certain licensing and online platform strategies forged among larger, more commercial and industry-forward film festivals proved advantageous during the pandemic. Overall, various virtual tactics reflected the rapidly increasing presence of streaming entities already at festivals, with Netflix...

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