Virtual Festival

Why Go Virtual

In a quickly evolving media world, where HDTV saturation now exceeds 70% and the average US living room TV sold is a 44-inch HDTV screen, the concept of trying to compel consumers to attend and pay for a movie in a theater has gradually become more archaic.

With the overwhelming majority of multichannel video home’s capable of utilizing video-on-demand, with the exponential growth of IP-enabled TVs, not to mention the growth of web-enabled iPads that have a sharper screen than any TV set, the stage is set and the “home” has quickly become the new “theater.”

Over the past several years, there has been a fast growing decline in the public’s interest in buying movies, or venturing out to the theater. The annual number of movies attended per capita has dropped from 5.1 to 3.9 over the past decade. Simply put, consumers are watching fewer movies in theaters.

The downward trend in movie attendance and DVD purchases are really the result of one, simple catchall word: “technology.”  Technological advances in home theater, especially since 2005 have shrunk the difference between watching movies in the home and watching in the theater.

Broadband has also created competition for a viewer’s time and enabled new ways to experience film. With Netflix, streaming has brought large quantities of content to consumers at low prices, while creating competition between first-run “fresh” content and long-tail, catalog content. In addition to Netflix, online content options such as Hulu, iTunes, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Vudu, etc. have put theaters on a quick path to extinction, while home film screenings are the revolution of today and certainly the wave of the future.

Since the inception of Netflix, video-on-demand (VOD) has increased the depth of content and video quality, and is poised to improve even more with advancements in technology making the “Home Theater” omnipresent.

The convergence of these technology catalysts has raised the bar for consumers to either leave their home or buy a movie ticket or to buy a movie on DVD or digitally. We expect the bar to move notably higher over the next few years as an increasing percentage of TVs become IP-enabled.

If the bar is higher for consumers to leave their home and go to a theater, why not bring the theater to consumers?

Consider that in addition to the high cost of a movie ticket and the inconvenience of leaving the home, there are meaningful expenses for the consumer in going to the theater such as way overpriced concessions, parking, overpriced gas per gallon, and often times babysitting.

We feel that the movie going public and Indie Film fans are leveraging their in-home technology while reducing a wide array of non-movie costs, with the VOD technology at very high standards currently, and improving every day.

In addition, the collapse of the window between theatrical and home entertainment has been quite successful for an array of independent films and filmmakers alike.

In keeping with this trend, major film festivals such as the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and the Great Lakes International Film Festival are now taking the next step in the evolution of film festivals, bringing both the worldwide exposure to Filmmaker’s projects and the virtual theatre experience of Indie Film to the world.

The Great Lakes International Film Festival brings all the new technologies to bear, and offers an event for the next step in film festival evolution.  Now in the new millennium of filmmaking, our festival takes a leap forward and pierces the veil between the worldwide film audience and independent films with a cutting-edge virtual theater that crumbles the boundaries that have in the past limited those who could partake in each filmmaker’s vision captured on film.

Much like the digital technology that swept independent film festivals throughout the world since the early 2000s, for many reasons the virtual theater is quickly becoming the first, best choice for festivals, and the new home of Independent film screenings worldwide.

Today, countless other festivals such as the Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival are now moving to the World Wide Web as they are screening films online to give exposure to Filmmaker’s projects, utilizing the virtual theatre experience for the maximum benefit of the Filmmaker.

Data compiled in part by Richard Greenfield and Brandon Ross of BTIG.

Virtual Theatre System

The Great Lakes International Film Festival’s virtual theater platform offers filmmakers not only the exposure to the world that they deserve, but does so keeping the integrity of the film and the filmmaker’s trust always fully intact with the most secure screening platform in existence throughout the world today.

The virtual theatre system and screening platform is completely secure and can be viewed from any computer, and mobile device.

The Great Lakes Film Festival is different from most other film festivals because it offers a unique method of viewing films in an online film festival that all of its competitors, even those that provide online fests do not.

All films showcased in the Great Lakes International Film Festival will be presented in a cutting edge virtual theatre screening platform on the world’s most unique and trusted online film presentation site, is the ultimate film festival screening platform that is designed to give the Independent Filmmaker the most exposure with the greatest reach of worldwide viewers, with the most secure and convenient Virtual Theater system on the web.

Now thanks to, and for the first time in film festival history, Independent Filmmakers can receive benefits and exposure far beyond anything that has ever existed, with the highest level of security through a system that is revolutionizing the film festival industry.

Unlike most other festivals, ours is not limited by time, restricting how many films we could screen at the fest. Simply put, if a film is good, it will be accepted and screened without time constraints. Films will not be available for download, but shall be presented in a video on demand style system that will allow users to watch the films. The system will be secured and can be viewed from any computer, smartphone, or any mobile device.

Unlike other festivals streaming films online, films in this festival cannot be downloaded, the films HAVE NO EMBEDDING CODE and our HTML code if copied and pasted, the films will not play, therefore they CANNOT be placed on other websites.

The only time and place they can be viewed is in our festival. In short, we have gone to great lengths to set this system up to protect the safety and security of each filmmaker’s film always keeping the filmmaker in mind. Basically, it is just as secure as a brick and mortar theater screening, only much better.

With State-Of-The-Art technologies that are revolutionizing independent film presentations world-wide, the Great Lakes International Shorts Festival is helping to change the face of film festivals across the globe…

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