On my vacation last week I flew Frontier Airlines, where I saw for the first time the Cloud 9 Film Festival, billed as the "first ever in-flight film festival". The festival, which airs on Frontier's free tv channel, Wild Blue Yonder, features five short films by rising talent. Viewers can then go home and vote on the Cloud 9 website which movie was their favorite.
Each film is shown for a month on all Frontier Airlines flights - five films per month - and each month's winner will ultimately be screened at a contest, with the winner taking home a $5,000 prize. Films cannot have any cursing, nudity or graphic violence (guess that means Quentin Tarantino won't be sending in an entry any time soon). The films on my flight included Donnie's Tree, about a browbeaten husband who finally stands up to his wife, and Fast Crapper, a film about (I'm not kidding) an annual outhouse race in Washington state. The latter, I noticed, had involvement from Seattle's Wiggly World Studios and Seattle director Andy McAllister, who we interviewed here back in June as part of our Seattle International Film Festival coverage.
I'm not sure the Cloud 9 Film Festival will supplant Cannes and Sundance anytime soon, but it was sure nice to watch some short films on my flight instead of just napping. If you're not flying anytime soon, you can also watch the films right on the Cloud 9 website.