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The annual Beijing International Film Festival was supposed to take place from April 19 to April 26, but it was indefinitely postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Picture: iQiyi)

Film festival teams with streaming site to put movies online

The Beijing International Film Festival and iQiyi are the latest to move a festival online as cinemas remain closed during the Covid-19 pandemic

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

With cinemas still closed across China, the country’s cinephiles sadly won’t be able to get their fix at the theater this Labor Day weekend. But at least the Beijing International Film Festival is offering a curated selection of movies to stream online.

From May 1 to May 5, 32 movies will be offered for streaming through Baidu’s iQiyi streaming service. The selection includes not just Chinese films, but also international ones like Judy and Bombshell. Most of them will be available to iQiyi subscribers at no additional cost. But some of the flims, like Marriage Story, charge a rental fee. Subscribers will at least get a discount, though. A single viewing of the Oscar-nominated movie costs non-subscribers 12 yuan (US$1.70) while subscribers will pay 6 yuan (US$0.85).

Film festivals are also moving online outside China during the Covid-19 pandemic. In late May, YouTube will work with the organization behind the Tribeca Film Festival to host a 10-day online film festival called We Are One: A Global Film Festival. The event will let people stream films of different lengths from film festivals around the world.