July 2020 update – OCanFilmFest2020 goes online

OCanFilmFest2020 Ottawa Canadian Film Festival

Hello film fans,

It’s July and it certainly feels like summer outside today. Our board continues to meet virtually, as we plan OCanFilmFest2020. The jury process is in full swing!

As you may have gathered from recent press coverage, out of an abundance of caution as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be taking our festival screenings online this year.  OCanFilmFest2020 in November will be on Vimeo’s Video On Demand (VOD) platform, the same platform we used the Shorts at Home series. Thanks again to the filmmakers who donated their films so that we could test out the platform, and to everyone who enjoyed the free VOD rentals in May and June.

OCanFilmFest Skype board meeting in June 2020

If you checked out the screenings, please drop us a note and tell us about your experience. The screenings were a learning opportunity for us and we are keenly interested in ways we can improve the experience.

While this year’s festival will feel different from previous years, online VODs have some advantages over in-person screenings. You will have the flexibility of viewing the films in the order of your choice, on your own schedule and you’ll have the ability to watch a favourite film one, three, or as many times as you like during your 24-hour rental period. If you find a film particularly entertaining or awe-inspiring, you can invite friends to check it out. All they would need is an internet connection and a free account on Vimeo in order to rent films. What we will miss the most, however, is the shared, in-person experience, the chance to speak with each other one-on-one, and the popular and insightful audience Q&As with filmmakers. While we look forward to returning to this in-person experience in the future, we are actively looking at ways to bring aspects of these interactions into the online festival. Stay tuned!

OCanFilmFest is a not-for-profit organization intent on promoting and celebrating Canadian films and filmmakers and we rely on a small team of volunteers to maximize our reach. Check out our Get Involved page for information about volunteer opportunities for guest bloggers, festival jury, video producers and more.

The final selections for this years festival will be announced in October.

Enjoy your summer and stay safe.

Erica, Manuel, Megha, Blair & Jith.

Our Call for Submissions for OCan21 opens on FilmFreeway early in 2021.