I’m a total nerd (in lots of ways) but specifically for sci-fi film. The second I found out MoPOP put together a sci-fi and fantasy short film festival this weekend I figuratively salivated and literally jumped at the chance to watch (I’ve upped my weird game since I live alone and rarely see any people in person. It’s pretty fun, you should try it.) While this is their 15th annual festival, as a sign of the times it’s their first in the virtual realm.
I’ve experienced a couple virtual film festivals at this point and I have yet to really be disappointed, but there are opportunities for improvement to be sure. I like the concept of watching from home, but I’ve felt rushed or forced into a very specific timeframe that seems too narrow to encourage folks to return if they continue this format in the future. Typically each film only runs once or you are only given a very small window to access it. Why not allow for viewing throughout the span of the festival? While this isn’t how an in-person fest goes, changing up the rules for this format to show a little love to the viewers isn’t a bad thing. It’s not like you’ll watch it a dozen times where the fest/directors will lose out on additional income (and there are ways to discourage that beyond a narrow window).
MoPOP’s Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Film Festival suffers from this same affliction but with an even more narrow scope: they’re showing each film in a series starting at 2pm and ending when the last film is done. That’s it, that’s all she wrote. So if you take a nap or have to run out for ice cream then you miss that film. You can always lay down another $22 to watch the encore showing on Sunday, which is still a great deal, but post-COVID era should get us to think a little bit more out of the box so viewers, directors and the festival producers are all happy. That being said, the scarcity factor adds a bit of excitement to the otherwise day-in and day-out grind of our current circumstances and I’m so excited for new indie content that I’ll be there with bells on.
Did you buy a ticket pre-COVID? Good news, your purchase automatically gets you into the virtual replacement. If you haven’t nabbed your seat yet, they’re still up for grabs. It’s a screaming deal if you have a few people at your house, but even if you’re solo, you can’t go wrong with an afternoon of fun, strange, glorious independent sci-fi films.
Saturday August 29th @ 2pm (includes live Q&A with filmmakers/directors)
Sunday August 30th @ 2pm (encore of Saturday’s event)