Viewster launches third online film festival
James R | On 13, Sep 2014
Viewster has launched its third film festival, which takes place entirely online.
The international, free-to-watch VOD platform’s event showcases a range of films, from shorts to features, from around the world, with cash prizes totalling $100,000 awarded based on votes from the public and a panel of judges.
VOD is becoming an increasingly integrated part of the film festival circuit, with the BFI including a dedicated channel to the London Film Festival on its BFI Player and Raindance Film Festival recently revealing its own on-demand service for indie films. Curzon Home Cinema, meanwhile, recently hosted My French Film Festival, a web-only festival of 13 features and 10 shorts.
Viewster, though, is already on its third festival – and “#VOFF” continues to grow. The latest iteration follows the success of #VOFF2: Relationship Status: It’s Complicated, which attracted around 500,000 viewers. This year sees 500 films accepted from 60 countries worldwide, from the USA and UK to France, Brazil, Australia, India and Canada.
The event is titled “Be Afraid. Be VERY Afraid” and celebrates genre films, be it science fiction, horror/paranormal or fantasy – one that CEO Kai Henniges says fits the site’s audience perfectly.
“Viewster as a platform has always championed the inventive and the imaginative in film and TV content,” he explains. “The theme of this #VOFF also reflects a real trend in our viewing habits for the niche to move into the mainstream. Genre content is hot right now, and no longer the preserve of geeks.”
In keeping with the festival’s focus, cult movie star Udo Kier is one of the jury members, alongside US independent film producer Ted Hope (21 Grams, American Splendor, Martha Marcy May Marlene), Iron Sky’s director, Timo Vuorensola, and German actress Nora Tschirner.
Udo Kier adds: “I’m looking forward to see and judge up-and-coming creature creators from all over the world which will be mostly films that will be hard to see anywhere else than on this Viewster Film Fest. And give some of them the chance to get a huge exposure through the online festival.”
Public voting is open now and runs until Thursday 25th September. The votes will determine the shortlist of titles, from which the final winners will be picked. The winners will be announced at the Closing Night Gala of the Raindance Film Festival on Sunday 5th October (which is held in partnership with Viewster).
Check out the line-up at www.viewster.com – or the see the trailer for the event here: