The Flatland Film Festival is back: what’s different this year

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — If you’ve already exhausted the options offered by Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming services, the Flatland Film Festival is back on September 24-26, and organizers say the show must go on — but this time virtually.

“If you’ve used up all your screening options on Netflix, this is the perfect weekend for you,” said Jordan Canal, programs coordinator for LHUCA and committee member for the Flatlands Film Festival.

Since 2003, the Flatland Film Festival has been showcasing Lubbock movie makers, and now it’s featuring both national and international films from even as far away as Iran.

But when the pandemic struck, shutting down festivals across the country, including the juggernaut SXSW in Austin, the festival organizers worried it was curtains for their yearly celebration, so they got creative to reopen the festival in a “safe and responsible way.”

“We were nervous. Obviously, COVID-19 has thrown most of our programming adrift. We had to adapt and make a lot of things virtual, close some things down, make things fit the time,” Canal said.

The festival will be all online except for the opening night at LHUCA — what Canal and other organizers said is a highlight for filmmakers and something they felt they couldn’t skip.

Instead of the usual venue at the Firehouse theater at LHUCA, the opening ceremony will be at LHUCA’s outdoor plaza, and social distancing will be enforced. Tickets are on sale today.

Canal added that she’s most looking forward to seeing her community come together again to celebrate the one thing we all seem to get behind: going to the movies.

“You can tell when a filmmaker’s friends or family were there. There’s so much good energy, there’s so much excitement. You get a lot of cheers and laughing. It’s so rich to be in a theater watching movies with someone,” Canal said.

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