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A Huge Shift

Giphy | Walt Disney Studios

With the rapid spread of coronavirus causing major disruptions in the film and television industry -- shutting down production, closing movie theaters, delayed premieres, etc. -- studios are scrambling to adapt.

While many have delayed projects, some are looking for ways to get the content to the people who are stuck at home, a prime audience even if they can't go to a theater. For example, Disney released film like Frozen II and Onward onto Disney+ early (even though they haven't announced what they're doing about Mulan or Black Widow yet), and movies like The Invisible Man and Emma were released for digital rental because they had just begun their theatrical runs.

How To Access The Films

Gettyimages | galinast

However, perhaps the biggest streaming film announcement comes from Amazon, who shared on Thursday that they would be streaming films and documentaries that were set to premiere at the cancelled SXSW festival in March for free to everyone with a basic Amazon account for a ten-day period. Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, released a statement saying:

"We’re honored to be able to provide a space for the SXSW filmmakers to share their hard work and passion with audiences for the first time. It’s been a privilege collaborating with Janet Pierson and the SXSW team to bring these diverse and inspiring films to viewers around the country. We are supporters of SXSW and other independent film festivals, and hope this online film festival can help give back some of that experience, and showcase artists and films that audiences might otherwise not have had the chance to see."

Helping Filmmakers And Audiences


Pierson, Director of Film for SXSW, also expressed her appreciation for this upcoming collaboration, saying:

"Ever since SXSW was cancelled by the City of Austin, we’ve been focused on how we could help the incredible films and filmmakers in the SXSW 2020 Film Festival lineup. We were delighted when Amazon Prime Video offered to host an online film festival, and jumped at the opportunity to connect their audiences to our filmmakers. We’re inspired by the adaptability and resilience of the film community as it searches for creative solutions in this unprecedented crisis."

Actor and filmmaker Jay Duplass, who has long had a relationship with SXSW, also offered his gratitude and excitement with this new endeavor.

"I’m thrilled that these two great champions of indie film (SXSW and Amazon Prime Video) are teaming up to resurrect this year’s canceled film festival. These are unprecedented times, and it’s going to take unprecedented solutions to carry on and celebrate these great films and the people who worked so hard to make them."

While it hasn't been announced when these films will be available to stream yet or which films will be participating, you can check out the list of potentials here.

Other New Content


In other streaming news, HBO has also announced that they will be making some of their classic series available to stream for free starting on Friday, including Ballers, Barry, Silicon Valley, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Succession, True Blood, Veep, and The Wire, as well as a number of films and documentaries.

Users only need to download the HBO Now or HBO Go apps in order to access this free content. As awful as it is to be stuck in quarantine, at least you can finally watch The Wire.

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