Virtual Film Festival Offers Exposure for Emerging Artists

The Inaugural Emerging Artist Film Festival, hosted in partnership between the Asian Cultural Association and the UCF India Center, took place in September, 2020, and featured short films from around the world.

The goal of the festival was to give emerging artists a platform to showcase their work, without any restrictions or guidelines for submissions besides the length of the film. The festival had originally been planned to take place at UCF’s downtown Orlando campus, but due to COVID-19, the Asian Cultural Association developed a plan to hold the festival virtually so that emerging artists would still have the opportunity to showcase their work. The virtual environment allowed the festival to gain broad traction and reach international audiences. This was particularly important because artists lost many opportunities to show their films as many events and festivals were cancelled.

“This was our first year doing this festival and it definitely was a challenge. We had 50 short film entries from around the world and were super happy to make the festival come to life, even though it became a virtual experience. This was a very exciting collaboration with the India Center at UCF and together we were able to get over the hurdle of the pandemic. We look forward to next year being bigger, better and hopefully in person in Orlando,” said Jasbir Mehta, the founder of the Asian Cultural Association.

“It was very gratifying to partner with the Asian Cultural Association to provide a platform for emerging artists to showcase their films, especially during these challenging times. I hope that this is the beginning of a new tradition to promote artists and their work,” commented Kerstin Hamann, Ph.D., interim director of the India Center.

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