Columbia Film Festival 2020 Goes Virtual With Over 60 Films June 17-26

May 7, 2020 | Blog

Columbia Film Festival shifts gears this June 17-26, bringing dynamic films, workshops and live filmmaker events online to new audiences beyond typical reach.

COLUMBIA, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES, May 8, 2020 / — How does a small Mid-Atlantic non-profit Arts Festival stay alive while so many organizations and events are forced to close doors due to a pandemic and social distancing? The answer came as a natural progression for the relatively new Columbia Film Festival, part of the 33 year Columbia Festival of the Arts. Although live events are difficult to translate elsewhere, film screenings allowed for a remarkable and natural flexibility to go virtual.

Keeping with their original schedule of June 17 – 26th, 2020, Columbia Film Festival Executive Producer, Robert Neal Marshall, has converted over 60 films, plus interactive workshops and lectures, complete with filmmaker Q&A’s, all to be viewed online! “It was no small task” says Marshall “to build a password protected platform via the Festival’s website, secure box office, and secondary level security via a popular commercial video hosting service.” They had tested several platform options and ran a very successful public test earlier in the Spring with a virtual film retrospective from their 2019 season. Filmmakers selected to participate from over 150 submissions for 2020 were each contacted for permission to go virtual under these new extreme circumstances.

Filmmaker and Co-Star Noah Weisberg of THANK YOU KINDLY one of the top short films being presented agreed, “The whole world has changed” Weisberg says. He has appeared on Broadway in LEGALLY BLONDE, on National Tour in the title role of WILLY WONKA, and on major television shows. Weisberg recognizes how filmmakers and festivals must adapt in order to survive in this new World. Festival Producer Marshall agrees, indicating that the parent company, Columbia Festival of the Arts, had to cancel its traditional weekend long outdoor LakeFest celebrations of music, crafts, food and community interaction. “The Columbia Film Festival was the one event we could still deliver for our audiences. Now going online, we can virtually share our films on a much broader platform.”

Columbia Film Festival has also partnered with the Horizon Foundation to present a completely Free two (2) Day Mental Health Film Festival with complimentary films and live virtual Filmmaker Q&A’s on the subjects of wellness and mental well-being, a conversation so needed at this time.

Film Fans, or anyone looking for something unique and different, can purchase discount Film Festival Passes and/or register online for the Free events at to watch films on any mobile device, computer, or compatible home TV connection via the new Columbia Arts Channel, Columbia Film Festival’s online Virtual Screening Room. Great selections which include Shorts, Feature Films, Documentaries, Student Films, Animation, International titles, and even the new season of a five time Emmy Award Winning Web Series AFTER FOREVER can also be found at All proceeds help support the Arts in this difficult time.

Big Changes

Big Changes


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