More than 40 films from creators around the world went live online Monday as the curtain rose on the Pasadena International Film Festival’s virtual incarnation.
The annual event was cut short in March, as the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in full force in the middle of screenings. But the show must go on.
The remaining films have been prepared in a digital format for live streaming and became available to view with a film festival pass on Monday morning, according to the PIFF.
While the festival will not be able to offer in-person attendance or refreshments this year, organizers have added a few new offerings to “make it as juicy as possible,” said PIFF co-founder Jessica Hardin.
“Each filmmaker has a Q and A,” Hardin said. “This is a really wonderful event if you have any interest in film because I feel like anyone can see a movie anywhere at any time for pretty affordable prices, but film festivals are fantastic if you want to learn about film, and it’s a really fun way to do it.”
“It’s a taste into someone’s life. It’s like a window into someone around the world and what kind of life they’re experiencing,” Hardin said.
In addition to the featured films, the festival also includes “Spotlight Conversations” with industry insiders, including a “Simpsons” director, an actress from the TV series “Shameless,” and a writer for Lifetime and Hallmark.
“And so we’re doing an incredibly low price,” Hardin said. “We decided our early bird price right now is only $20, and that includes all the films. So it’s like 43 cents per film.”
A raffle is planned for the end of the festival, in which one guest will win $100 and another will win a case of wine from San Antonio Winery, according to Hardin.
Due to challenges posed by the pandemic, community support of the festival is needed more than ever, she said.
For more information, including a link to purchase passes to the festival, is available on the Pasadena International Film Festival website at pasadenafilmfestival.org.