#CORONA: DISTRIBUTING ANTHROPOLOGICAL FILMS DURING THE PANDEMIC
During the COVID-19 lockdowns in the spring of 2020, when cinema theatres and university buildings closed, many film festivals decided to move their activities online. This moment of experiment with digital infrastructures exposed filmmakers and audiences to new possibilities for viewing and discussing films. Among anthropological filmmakers and festival organizers, it also led to renewed discussions about the longer-term project of sharing anthropological knowledge with varied publics, and the specific role of film festivals in curating, exhibiting and promoting anthropological cinema. What are the implications of moving these activities online? This was discussed during an online event of the ethnocineca International Documentary Film Festival Vienna on May 8, 2020, organised in collaboration with the Vienna Visual Anthropology Lab. The participants of this discussion were anthropologists who are also filmmakers or operate in the professional field of film distribution as festival organisers: Marie-Christine Hartig, Andy Lawrence, Katja Seidel, Christos Varvantakis, and Werner Zips (alongside the authors, Viktoria Paar and Sanderien Verstappen). The discussion is summarised below, as a starting point for further conversations about the future of anthropological film.