Online Festivals

What is Lift-Off Online?

Rejecting talented people sucks. There are plenty of great films we cannot accommodate at our global live screenings. Supporting the emerging indie community has always been our number one mission, and we have always felt it a shame not to represent these films as best we can.

So we decided to run an online festival that runs in tandem with every live Lift-Off Festival, to give deserving work a second chance. It has proven to be a great alternative route for well-supported work and always brings a large audience to these brilliant indie films, maximising their opportunities with the network.

How Do I Take Part?

If you have submitted to a Lift-Off Film Festival you will automatically be considered for the online festival. If your work reaches a certain standard but does not quite make the selection for the live screenings you will be invited via email after the decision deadline for the respective festival. It is then up to you if you would like to take part or not.

Films will appear securely online for a period of one or two weeks. Don't worry - this doesn't count as a release, shouldn't exclude you from other competitions and your film will be protected. Please check the screening requirements for other competitions you are hoping to feature in before deciding to take part.

What is the Lift-Off Sessions?

A free-to-apply online festival, the Lift-Off Sessions is a monthly online showcase, dedicated to screening the monthly collection of globally submitted indie shorts and features. With the aim to send each programme out to as wide of an audience as possible. The reason this festival is so different from many others is due to our data on declining audience figures for indie film. We decided to extend our resources to cater for an all-encompassing and welcoming platform where everyone can see the type of work and varying elements from as many projects as possible.

Lift-Off Sessions isn't about selecting the best possible shorts or features from the films that are submitted to us, it is about providing a screening opportunity for everyone. An opportunity we hope highlights and educates each and every month.

Two Round Judging System

Round 1 - Crowd Round
Invited films are published in a Vimeo-on-Demand collection. This leg of the festival runs for one week The 10 films with the highest amount of votes move to the second round, the Community Feedback Round.

Round 2 - Network Feedback Round

The shortlisted finalists from the first round are hosted on the Lift-Off Network Member's Platform for a further week. The films are reviewed by our extensive feedback process - the same process at our live festivals. Voting is carried out by Lift-Off Community Silver or Gold members, and our official Lift-Off judging panel.

The winning film will receive a live screening at the next Lift-Off Festival. All ten finalists will be given the feedback from the Lift-Off Network and receive fee waivers for the festival of their choice.

Resources For Online Participants

Benefits for participating filmmakers
The online festivals bring a large audience of fresh eyes to true indie work. Our ultimate aim is to build audiences, bringing people to independent VOD projects.
You can find out more here: - How Lift-Off Helps Filmmakers.

The online festival serves as a perfect learning curve in marketing your film. No one can pitch your project better than you can! Marketing can make or break the success of your film, helping to reach the right audience for your work and ultimately sell out your screenings & secure backing for another project.
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This online screening will not affect your chances in other festivals unless the film festival has their respective dates running at the same time. Please check the T&Cs of the respective competitions that you hope to participate in. The selection for an online screening is much the same as being part of our live festivals, except it will be online for the world to enjoy, but for one week during the first round (and importantly the work is not available for free).

Benefits for audiences
For any film enthusiasts or filmmakers, this is an invaluable opportunity to see an abundance of their contemporaries' work and to support indie film. For the price of an event ticket, they have access to the full collection of films (normally between 60 and 100) for the whole duration of the festival. Community+ members will receive a free discount code.

Success Stories

The winner of the live screenings at Vancouver Lift-Off Film Festival 2016 'Yellow by Alexander Hankoff & Alexander Maxwell' came from the Online Initiative in Tokyo and screened with us in LA as part of the live screenings - where Yellow won a special mention. Yellow then screened with us at the live event in Sydney and was put up for a coveted Lift-Off Season Award - where it just missed out on best cinematography. Since their inclusion in the Tokyo version of this very initiative, they have had four official selections on the Lift-Off Network!