17th Edition of The Archaeology Channel International Film Festival Goes Online

Eugene, OR – Organized by Eugene nonprofit, Archaeological Legacy Institute (ALI), Lane County’s longest-running film festival, The Archaeology Channel (TAC) International Film Festival, opens its 17th annual edition on May 13  and runs through May 17.  However, instead of the normal array of public activities, this year’s Festival has moved to an online-only format. This involves online streaming of selected films for the competition as well a virtual awards announcement, whose results will be decided by the festival jury. While we at ALI regret the elimination of so much of our event, this special edition of TAC Festival is another step in its growth and a furtherance of the international recognition that the Festival brings to the Lane County community. We also want to thank our many generous sponsors, whose continuing support enables us to adapt to the new circumstances and plan for future editions of this event.

Find out more here.

Originally, before the arrival of COVID-19, we planned five days of public events and gatherings, which come as a bitter loss, especially to those such as our Keynote speaker, Dr. Tom King, who put aside so much time and effort to make our events a success. Despite the abbreviated nature of TAC Festival 2020, we are proud to be able to continue our juried competition and to screen films online for a worldwide audience during the five-day Festival period , May 13-17.

“When we launched The Archaeology Channel and began streaming videos in July 2000, our website became one of the first streaming-media platforms, and today it remains as one of the longest-running such sites and the only one in the world focusing on cultural heritage media,” says TAC Festival Director and ALI Executive Director Rick Pettigrew. “In keeping with our tradition and history of online media streaming, our response to the coronavirus pandemic is to enhance the streaming services we offer by building our own subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming service, which we call Heritage Broadcasting Service, or just Heritage for short. The first task chosen for Heritage is to stream most of the films selected to compete for TAC Festival 2020 awards. Our audience this time includes people everywhere, not just in Lane County.

“Our Festival audience is stuck at home and unable to gather together to watch this lineup of the world’s best films in our genre, so we are employing our 20 years of online streaming experience to bring the Festival to them! We are not about to break our string of annual film screenings for this…Instead, we are turning lemons into lemonade by enhancing the event and hopefully growing its visibility and impact both locally and around the world.”

To ALI, TAC Festival is much more than an exhibition of the world’s top cultural heritage films. We designed it to promote the development of cultural heritage media in the US and worldwide. For our 17th season, we accepted 103 film entries from 26 countries. The 26 films in the 2020 competition cover a variety of fascinating topics from around the globe: places as far apart as Singapore and Peru and across the human timeline from hundreds of thousands of years ago in the Neanderthal era to World War II. That’s just a start. How about the lifeway of the world’s last hunter-gatherers, an updated interpretation of Stonehenge, revelations about how the Egyptian pyramids were built, and the fascinating story of Polynesian sea voyagers as told by themselves? And we have much more!

We have been able to secure permissions for online screening for 18 films so far and are still working out the details with others.  While an online film fesitval presents its own challenges, our filmmakers have generously agreed to work with us on making it a reality.  Our partners are scattered across the globe, and this degree of international partnership gives us hope that COVID-19 is helping to bring the world together at a critical moment in history.

Watching TAC Festival 2020 films online will require a small virtual ticket fee ($5), which ALI will share with the filmmakers.  We’ll announce the Festival award winners online on May 18, immediately after the close of the online screenings.

Stay at home this year to explore the wonders of human cultures past and present in the works of skilled media producers!  TAC Festival affords the online viewer a chance to experience the world’s best cultural heritage films: visually rich, technically sophisticated works which are artistically produced and as entertaining as they are informative.

For a complete list of films, film trailers and other Festival information, as well as the link to get virtual tickets and view Festival films on Heritage, please visit us at: http://www.archaeologychannel.org/festival.

About ALI
Archaeological Legacy Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Eugene, Oregon, and organized to share the human cultural heritage widely through the use of cutting-edge technology. ALI’s principal project is The Archaeology Channel (http://www.archaeologychannel.org), a streaming-media website featuring video and audio programs on archaeology and indigenous peoples and reaching an audience of 250,000 visitors monthly.

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