In the age of COVID-19, film lovers have taken to streaming video platforms to enjoy cinema safely from the comfort of their own homes.
With its new Cinematic Conversations, Dallas VideoFest is building community among home viewers and creating an accessible and stimulating conversation around film. Featuring guest hosts – from film directors and screenwriters to film critics and historians, academics and columnists – the live, weekly Zoom calls last about an hour and focus on a wide range of films available on common streaming platforms.
“People are watching a lot of material on Netflix and Amazon Prime because they are not going out in the world right now,” said Dallas VideoFest Founder and Artistic Director Bart Weiss. “This gives them a chance to engage their brain and feel more active. Maybe next time you watch something, you start to think about it in a different kind of way.”
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Watch the film that will be discussed at any time on your own. The films will generally be available on streaming platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime. Occasionally, they will be on other platforms. DVF is making every effort to showcase films that are readily available for free or rent.
Request the Zoom information by emailing: Festival@VideoFest.org.
Log on the Zoom call by 7:25 pm CT
Step 4: The conversation
The conversation format features a conversation between Weiss and the guest host for the first half. The second portion is often guided by questions from participants.
“It’s very similar to what you experience in a film festival when you have a Q&A with the filmmaker,” said Weiss. “But those are sometimes only 15 minutes long. You can’t get into very much detail or into the meat of what’s going on in the film.”
The quality of these discussions recently captured the attention of a Sundance filmmaker, Sam Feder, who told Weiss the Cinematic Conversation focusing on his film was the best Q&A he has viewed, addressing topics others had not discussed in depth.
Weiss said Cinematic Conversations also fill a gap in film critique that has existed for more than a decade.
“People want to know about films, and they want to know what people think about films,” said Weiss. “This is an opportunity to help fans understand what’s in the films, the themes that are involved and what the film is saying.”
To participate in Cinematic Conversations, follow the Dallas VideoFest Facebook page, and watch the film listed for the upcoming week’s conversation. Visit the Facebook page before 7:30 p.m. CST Wednesdays for the Zoom login, and join the discussion.
Upcoming Cinematic Conversations:
And more are being scheduled.