If the Lumiere Bros. were alive today, they would be baffled. They were some of the earliest filmmakers in history and produced short films called actualités or, plainly, actualities. Workers were filmed leaving their factory and a train arriving at its station; they were simple but effective — where would our film industry be without the brothers Lumiere? The brothers furthered the development of a device entitled the cinematographe and many of the earliest film audiences viewed these films through this tiny device which projected onto a screen. Years later, the Lumieres saw the introduction of sound and other gimmicks to draw in the crowd.
I cannot fathom their reaction to a product like instant streaming on Netflix which brings films back to the small screen. Somehow, though, I don’t think their heads would explode because they were innovators and probably knew the possibilities with filmmaking were endless. So, today, I bring you something that I think the Lumiere Bros. would not only approve of, but utilize themselves — now, I cannot speak for them directly (for that invention has yet to be created without the assistance of spiritual medium John Edward).
Beginning on March 4th, the PBS Online Film Festival of 2013 becomes available on all digital platforms including YouTube and PBS social media channels. Yes, you heard me, a film festival online. How many times have you desired to visit TIFF or Cannes or (especially for me) the TCM Film Festival? Now you don’t have to miss out! The PBS Online Film Festival is at your fingertips and in your household at the click of a mouse. They will be showcasing 25 short films which are diverse and cover various opinions and walks of life.
The festival only begins with viewing, my friends! You also have the ability to vote for your favourite short film and give the directors of the film feedback by voting. You will have between March 4th and 22nd to cast your votes. The film that received the highest recognition will win a People’s Choice Award. The votes will be tallied in early April.
For more information visit PBS.org or www.pbs.org/filmfestival/home! You’ll be hearing more from me about the film festival and I expect to hear some of your feedback. Let’s remember the Lumieres and their contribution to film history when viewing these masterpieces online. Film history is not dead, it’s merely being recreated every day.