Seed&Spark Launches Platform To Boost Film Festivals Affected By COVID-19; Mark Duplass, Lena Waithe, Olivia Wilde And More To Participate In Virtual Q&As

EXCLUSIVE: As film festivals postpone and cancel across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, independent films have taken a hit — but Seed&Spark has stepped into action to help by launching a platform specifically built for online festivals. Some high-profile actors and filmmakers have already signed on to support the initiative.

Seed&Spark has shed light on improving equity and inclusion in entertainment for the last 8 years. The new online screening platform is an effort to help save 2020 film festivals as indie filmmakers try to figure out what to do with their projects.

Mark Duplass, who joined the initiative, said: “It’s really important that we try to support the entire indie film ecosystem during this insane time. Seed&Spark has come up with a brilliant plan that doesn’t bypass film festivals but helps them find an alternate way to survive and in turn, continue to support our indie filmmakers.”

The online screening platform will support time-based events with ticketed screenings, shorts and series programs as well as live Q&As. The following industry professionals have signed on to show support for the festival circuit and host 15-20 minute virtual interviews with filmmakers:

Desiree Akhavan
Erika Alexander
Katie Aselton
Janicza Bravo
Patrick Brice
Jake Choi
Jonathan Dayton
Jay Duplass
Mark Duplass
Valerie Faris
Emily V Gordon
Janina Gavankar
Chad Hartigan
Rachel Hilson
Nicole Holofcener
Craig Johnson
Jenni Konnor
Karyn Kusama
Franklin Leonard
Heather Matarazzo
Kumail Nanjiani
Haley Joel Osment
Patton Oswalt
Danny Pudi
Jason Reitman
John Ridley
Lynn Shelton
Jill Soloway
Michael Starrbury
Colin Trevorrow
Lena Waithe
Olivia Wilde
Jeff Yang

“Seed&Spark really grew by traveling to film festivals of all sizes, serving incredibly diverse communities across the country, and as the postponements and cancellations rolled in, it was clear that a mass extinction event could be on the horizon. We couldn’t sit by and let that happen to some of the most important community-based cultural curators,” said Emily Best, founder and CEO of Seed&Spark. “Being able to create a viable online offering means we can help to provide crucial revenue for festivals and a vital platform for creators to connect to audiences everywhere, safely. But online festivals can be missing the splashy events that really drive turnout to festivals. So we called everybody we knew to call everyone they knew who might have a following they would lend to help.”

“These are uncertain, unprecedented times for everyone, but it’s crucial that we don’t lose hope,” Best said. “There are people out there — some whose names you know, some who have been the quiet backbone of the independent film ecosystem — working hard on solutions.”

More information on this Seed&Spark platform can be found here.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/04/seedandspark-online-film-festivals-covid-19-coronavirus-mark-duplass-lena-waithe-olivia-wilde-1202909140/