While I'm advising people on how to pack for South by Southwest next week and where to stay and what to eat and all that, I wonder if this info might someday be superfluous. Film festivals are increasingly offering more online and video-on-demand (VOD) options so you can enjoy some of the fest offerings from your home -- perhaps someday we'll all sit at home and participate in virtual festivals. Okay, too many of us love watching movies in theaters for that to happen entirely, but expanding fest offerings to digital options that anyone can purchase and watch is pretty exciting.
SXSW and IFC announced on Thursday that they're partnering to give three of the film festival's 2010 films a simultaneous release on cable TV VOD that will start on March 12, the Austin fest's opening night. FilmBuff acquired digital distribution right to two movies that will be available on iTunes and Amazon VOD at the same time they premiere at SXSW. And on Wednesday, Tribeca Film Festival announced an entirely new organization that will focus on digital distribution of independent films, many of which have played or will play at the actual festival.