Cannes, Sundance, SXSW and more Festivals and Conventions to Watch at Home This Weekend

Since the global spread of COVID-19, many scheduled festivals and conventions had been forced to cancel with either an indefinite postponement or an advanced reschedule for 2021. As a result of this, organisers have been searching for a way to adapt to the new normal while still delivering their planned event in some way. 

So, what’s the next best way to connect to audiences around the world? With the internet, of course! Following the success of taking museums and even zoos online, organisers behind some of the biggest festivals have decided to join the bandwagon by bringing their scheduled programmes to you, the audience, at home. 

If you find that you have nothing much to do, consider virtually attending these 5 conventions and festivals where you’ll get front row seats to every programme available.


We Are One: Global Film Festival brings together the world’s prestigious film festivals online. (Image courtesy of Cannes Film Festival, We Are One Global Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival)

Due to the global pandemic that has kept film festivals from opening, YouTube has collaborated with 20 top film festivals including the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Berlin International Film festival, and the Venice Film Festival, to launch a 10-day digital film festival where you would be able to catch free feature films, shorts, documentaries, music, comedy, and panel discussions, with no annoying ads.

The event will happen from 29 May to 7 June 2020 and a full schedule will be released closer to the date. Until then, bookmark this page to ensure you don’t miss out on this exciting event!

SXSW 2020

SXSW launches a digital version of their festival for home. (Image courtesy of SXSW)

Scheduled for 13 to 22 March, South by Southwest or better known as SXSW was unfortunately cancelled by the City of Austin in Texas, where the festival was usually held, due to the growing concerns of the global pandemic. Despite the unprecedented cancellation of one of the most anticipated events of the year, the festival which brought together creatives from Film, Music and Comedy managed to forge ahead, making their originally scheduled lineup available online. 

Although SXSW had made their films available online for free, the offer was only available for US residents till 6 May. But do not despair as global audiences like us, are still able to enjoy the other programmes that are offered as part of the festival which includes musical performances from the SXSW 2020 showcasing artists, Q&As with the people behind the films of SXSW 2020, and SXSW Sessions on Demand — a new series which features speakers from the arts, tech, and design share their expertise and experience.

An episode of SXSW Sessions on Demand that you might want to consider catching is Maybe You Should Talk to Someone with best-selling author Lori Gottlieb and actress Julie Sweeney who discuss what it’s like being on the emotional front lines of the pandemic and how laughter and joy can help us during this difficult time.

You can keep up with the SXSW 2020 showcasing artists here, understand the SXSW 2020 Films better here, or gain new knowledge from SXSW Sessions on Demand here.


Get front row seats to the Tribeca Film Festival’s signature — Tribeca Talks! (Image courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival)

Originally set to happen in New York City in April, the worst-hit COVID-19 city in the US, the Tribeca Film Festival was postponed to the next year with the programming for 2020 to be available online. One of the first programmes that you can now watch online is Tribeca’s signature Tribeca Talks, which is a series of intimate, festival-style Q&As with the creators and stars behind movies and TV shows that you may be enjoying right now or in the future.

The Q&A with Lily Collins, Simon Pegg and director Vaughn Stein for Inheritance is an enjoyable watch as they not only talk about their film but also how each of them is coping with the lockdown.

You can watch Tribeca Talks here via their official Facebook page.

RuPaul’s Digital DragCon

Be entertained by the fantabulous queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race! (Image courtesy of World of Wonder)

Just between us squirrel friends, get ready to have your wig snatched at home as the famous RuPaul’s DragCon has gone digital! Originally set for 1 to 3 May, RuPaul’s DragCon in Los Angeles was cancelled due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the California state but instead of sashaying away till 2021, the first-ever RuPaul’s Digital DragCon was released on YouTube over two days with performances, panels, Q&A sessions, and more with legendary queens that include Aquaria, Alaska, Manila Luzon, Katya, Detox, and current season 12 contestants, Jackie Cox, Heidi N Closet, Nicky Doll, and Widow Von’Du.

A particular performance you cannot miss from DragCon is the 2020 Quarantine version of the iconic lip-sync rendition of ‘Read U Wrote U‘ performed by the All-Stars Season 2 queens Alaska, Katya, Detox and Roxxxy!

You can watch Day One’s programmes here, and follow-up with Day Two here.

WonderCon @ Home

No comic-con? No problem! Get your nerd fix with WonderCon @ Home. (Image courtesy of Comic-Con International)

Pop culture nerds who are feeling a little empty since the cancellation of Comic-Con might enjoy this digital version of their sister convention, WonderCon. Since the event was postponed, the annual comic book, science fiction, and film convention were taken online to present would-be convention-goers with exclusive videos featuring special guests and panels that would have happened at WonderCon Anaheim 2020. The organisers even sweetened the deal a little with the availability of several big panels from last year’s WonderCon that includes the cast of X-Men: Dark Phoenix, AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, and The Big Bang Theory.

If you only have time to catch one panel, you’ll want to watch the X-Men: Dark Phoenix panel which dives into the preparation and behind-the-scenes of the film with director Simon Kinberg, producer Hutch Parker and actors Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Evan Peters, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

You can catch-up on WonderCon 2020 and 2019 here.


Banner image courtesy of Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival and SXSW.