COVID-19 UPDATE & INFORMATION
Covid-19 has created a chain reaction of unprecedented events that has affected us all. Whether we are filmmakers or teachers, students, athletes, doctors, retail workers, farmers, etc., there is no industry or individual that has been unaffected by the shutdowns around the planet.
Thus, it has become quite clear that to host FilmQuest during our originally scheduled dates in September, while maintaining the integrity of the festival and presenting a safe, inclusive event that all can enjoy is simply not wise at this present juncture. Yes, we could still host a festival during those dates, but we ask at what cost? To host a live FilmQuest in a diminished and potentially unsafe state, would not give honor to the many creators and community who have become a part of our family and this event.
Therefore, we have decided to postpone the 2020 FilmQuest to a yet to be determined date. We have decided this in order to maintain our commitment of hosting a physical edition of the festival, where all who wish to attend may do so in a safe environment. Our commitment to host a physical event is the driving force behind this decision, as we believe in doing what is right by the filmmakers. These great talents have toiled, often for years, to bring us their works and to showcase their unique stories, and to relegate that to an online event is not what FilmQuest is about. We want to showcase these films with audiences, amongst fellow filmmakers, to be enjoyed and celebrated as they were meant to be – with a community of friends, family, and cinema lovers.
At the current moment, it is likely that the festival will take place in the Spring of 2021 in Downtown Provo and at our host venue of Velour. We will look into potentially hosting the event in late October/early November 2020, but we realize this is unlikely. Regardless of when the festival can take place, we will be giving no less than 8 weeks notice to all participating filmmakers of the new dates so that all those who are attending can prepare. We will be monitoring the global situation, travel restrictions, vaccine updates, and more all while communicating often with our filmmakers, team members, and community.
It is our guarantee that FilmQuest 2020 will take place and be just as amazing and fantastic as any season before. Through teamwork, perseverance, and patience, we will return stronger, united, and ready for a celebration like no other.
Together, we will prevail. Together, WE are FilmQuest.
July 28th, 2020
Will you be hosting a physical festival?
Yes. FilmQuest is 100% committed to hosting a physical event at a yet to be determined date. It’s what the filmmakers want and deserve, and we’re going to do right by them.
What are the new dates?
To be determined. We will try to host the event in late October/early November 2020. However, travel restrictions, a lack of vaccine, and other factors, such as the current limit of no more than 50 people at any event in Utah, makes this unlikely. Thus, it is likely we’ll be hosting the 2020 festival in Spring of 2021.
So, wait… are you planning on doing TWO festivals in 2021?
At this moment, yes, that is our likely plan. One for the 2020 festival and selections, and one in October 2021 for the 2021 selections. We actually anticipate that there will be less films in 2021, and therefore may do a shorter festival in Fall 2021, but that is yet to be determined at this time.
What needs to happen before you can announce your new dates?
First, we need to make sure the US and the world has Covid-19 beaten. Whether herd immunity takes effect, or a vaccine becomes widely available, we must ensure that our guests and attendees will be able to travel and attend safely without risk to their health. Next, we need to make sure borders are reopen for travel, as many of our guests attend from overseas. As well, Utah and our local community in Provo need to be fully reopened. Once all these parameters are in place, or when there is a clear timeline on when it’ll be in place, we can proceed. In the meantime, we can only schedule tentatively and alertly.
Will you host an online festival instead of a physical event?
Unlikely. It has become fairly clear that filmmakers simply do not want to screen online. Our own surveys and feedback have shown this to be abundantly clear. However, if it simply becomes impossible to host a physical event and we are FORCED to host an online festival because of the state of the world, then and only then will we look into hosting the 2020 event online and we guarantee that it will be FREE to all.
Will you be doing any other online events in the meantime?
Yes. We are currently planning a celebration of FilmQuest this Fall, that will be hosted online and free to everyone around the globe. We will showcase films from past winners and nominees, host live online workshops with industry professionals, do Q&A’s and AMA’s, and more. We’re still figuring out the details on this, who we may be partnering with, etc., but rest assured we’ll do something fun while we figure out when the 2020 festival will be taking place.
Will you stay in contact with filmmakers, press, audiences, etc.?
Make no mistake that we’ll be staying in touch. We’ll be engaged via social media, host a few small and private screenings at Velour for the locals, constantly emailing, doing online workshops and panels, and more. While we’re figuring out these details, know that we’ll be working to keep everyone engaged and involved with the festival.
Will you still be announcing nominations and handing out awards?
100% yes. While our timeline for making announcements, and obviously our festival dates, have changed, our plans to properly honor and award the filmmakers and screenwriters have not. Stay tuned for nomination announcements and more as we get closer to determining our new dates.
I didn’t get into the festival, but I read in your rejection letter that there may still be a chance. Explain?
Every year, we generally see a couple of films drop out of the festival for various reasons. While this has been a different year for obvious reasons, we do anticipate that us postponing the festival may cause sone filmmakers to pull their films. While we don’t advocate this, we understand. In this event, we may replace these films with other projects we were highly considering for selection that were rejected for various reasons (length, release schedule, etc.). This year had an incredibly high amount of quality submissions, and we took more than usual but less than we wanted. So odds are good you scored very well, but ultimately we just couldn’t fit your project in. We’ll reach out to you if drop outs occur.
How can I get involved?
Community is the core of who and what FilmQuest is. If you have a special skill, got a workshop you’d like to host, got friends you want to bring to the table… we’re all ears. Just reach out to us, and we’ll see what we can do.