HOPE at HOME Film Festival
The spread of COVID-19 (and the imminent shut down of any space that would gather a significant amount of people) has seen a new film festival shift, to show films online. Originally set to be hosted by Hoyts across Australia, the Cinema Faith Film Festival suddenly became the first HOPE at HOME Film Festival.
The festival is streaming 12 different movies in 10 weeks. It begins one week before Easter with three different Easter-themed films including Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, and The Passion: A Brickfilm, which portrays the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection through the eyes of Lego characters. Every week after Easter, a new featured film will drop on Sundays. These include Beautifully Broken and Loud Krazy Love. All titles will be available online via the Story Together platform to allow hassle-free online streaming.
Insights spoke to Rod Hopping, CEO at Heritage Films. He said that the concept of sharing HOPE made sense, as it is a feeling that is becoming more needed and appreciated as days pass by. There are now millions of people around the world self-isolating, looking for new ways of connecting to ease the anxiety of their current circumstances. The Movies Change People company has been in the business for more than 16 years. Throughout this time, their mission has been to passionately share films that bring hope to people, particularly true stories, as “the best true stories usually tell you about somebody’s struggle to get through huge obstacles in their lives while watching their journeys is where inspiration and courage comes.”
After travelling to the US some weeks ago, Hopping visited the Netflix Headquarters in Los Angeles (now closed due to Coronavirus). He later faced the fear of having the virus himself (he tested negative), and has been in isolation since. Hopping says he believes that, “The greatest sickness at the moment is probably fear.” After internal conversations, festival organisers decided to help people face their fear while staying safe at home.
People who buy the entire festival pass will have five digital premiers with brand new content, along with other films that many have not seen. Organisers say they picked content that will be of interest across a range of people and for all the family to enjoy, from documentaries to content that female audiences will enjoy and kids’ productions. As well as new content delivered weekly, people will also be able to participate in online festival events such as Q&A panels, sneak-peaks, behind the scenes content, and discussions with the filmmakers.
While it is going to be very challenging to promote the festival under current circumstances, organisers are closely working with their media partners, social connections, and databases to spread the word. They have also created a coupon code to receive a 50 per cent discount to promote the event.
Heritage Films say that they are dreaming of having many thousands of people involved in the festival, and are currently working to have everything ready. Participants who don’t sign up on day one will still have full access to all previous and current resources once they subscribe.
The Hope at Home Festival will be available across Australia and New Zealand from 5 April.
For more information regarding pricing, movies, online events, and reviews go to www.hopeathome.com.au