AFS Launches New Platform for its Virtual Cinema – AFS@home

(Image from MARTIN EDEN, opening today through our new virtual platform AFS@home)

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brady Dyer | brady@austinfilm.org


Austin Film Society
Launches New Platform for its Virtual Cinema —
AFS@home Brings the Latest in Independent Film to Your Home
Beginning October 16

October 16, 2020 (Austin, TX)—The Austin Film Society is excited to announce the launch of AFS@home, a new platform for AFS’s Virtual Cinema screenings, beginning today Friday, October 16. This new platform makes AFS programming and global film culture even easier to access for audiences who are able to stream films from their homes. AFS joins a leading group of 11 other arthouses nationwide by partnering in the program.

AFS@home will support AFS’s Virtual Cinema going forward, connecting audiences with the same level of curated film programming and content that AFS has been providing through our partners since April. AFS@home allows users to access new Virtual Cinema films from AFS by logging onto a single portal. With AFS@home, AFS members will receive discounts on regularly-priced tickets for most new films streaming on the AFS@home platform. Proceeds will go directly towards AFS’s programming and efforts to reopen the Cinema, and the platform also makes it possible to donate to AFS directly.

While the introduction of AFS@home allows for a user-friendly access to rentals with a single log-in feature, AFS will also continue to share a limited selection of films only available for rental through distributors’ third-party sites. The entire selection of films currently available, including those with member discounts, is available to browse on the AFS@home site.

Screenings will continue to include the latest independent films selected specifically for AFS audiences by AFS programmers. Virtual cinema releases are first run films or other new releases that would otherwise be screening on theater screens. AFS@home is part of @homeArts, a virtual cinema hosting platform owned and operated by fellow non-profit arthouse, the Salt Lake Film Society, and shared by a network of non-profit art houses.

AFS@home launches on Friday, October 16 with new releases Martin Eden (Kino Lorber) and This is Not a Movie: Robert Fisk and the Politics of Truth (KimStim).

As with in-person screenings at the Cinema, AFS programmers, staff, and guests will give virtual introductions for many of these films. We will also continue coordinating virtual Q&As with filmmakers to follow many of the screenings. Please contact brady@austinfilm.org if interested in a screener.

An Update on the AFS Cinema
The AFS Cinema will return! It’s not a matter of “if,” but when. The AFS Cinema has been a vital part of Austin’s film culture—a home for all who love the very best in classic, foreign, and new independent film, and seek out diverse and global perspectives—and there is nothing more we’d rather do than welcome the community back through our doors. But we know that it isn’t time yet, and we will not reopen until Austin is ready to return to the movies. While this extends our closure period and pushes the reopening further down the road, we believe it keeps our focus on the right things. We’re doing the work now to return as a stronger organization, better positioned to serve the entire community.

During this time, we will continue to bring curated programming and the latest independent films to your home through our new virtual screening platform AFS@home—a portion of these ticket sales going directly towards plans to reopen the Cinema. Behind the scenes, our efforts include a rigorous strategic planning process alongside a thorough diversity, equity and inclusion audit, both consultant-led, that will lead to a road map for the organization for the years to come. We want AFS programs to support film culture and a thriving ecosystem for filmmaking in Texas, and to ensure that anyone who wishes to participate in the art, craft or industry of filmmaking has the opportunity to do so.

More about @homeArts
Developed by the Salt Lake City Film Society as a collaborative, non-commercial initiative for arthouse theater partners across the country, @homeArts is meant to mimic the operations of a cinema through at-home viewing as a means of creating business continuity for exhibitors and distributors alike during the ongoing pandemic. The goal being to help fellow arthouses continue to build their communities during temporary closure—and even beyond, moving into a brave new world where first-run films must be offered in some combination of theatrical and streaming. As of now, the Austin Film Society is one of ten arthouse cinemas partnering in the program.

About Austin Film Society
Founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater, AFS creates life-changing opportunities for filmmakers, catalyzes Austin and Texas as a creative hub, and brings the community together around great film. AFS is committed to racial equity and inclusion, with an objective to deliver programs that actively dismantle the structural racism, sexism and other bias in the screen industries. AFS supports filmmakers from all backgrounds towards career leaps, encouraging exceptional artistic projects with grants and support services. AFS operates Austin Studios, a 20-acre production facility, to attract and grow the creative media ecosystem. Austin Public, a space for our city’s diverse mediamakers to train and collaborate, provides many points of access to filmmaking and film careers. The AFS Cinema is an ambitiously programmed repertory and first run arthouse with broad community engagement. By hosting premieres, local and international industry events, and the Texas Film Awards, AFS shines the national spotlight on Texas filmmakers while connecting Austin and Texas to the wider film community. AFS is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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