People/Biz

BANFF launches 2021 virtual edition

From June 14 to 16, the festival's new online platform will bring the industry together as part of its Marketplace Week.
January 19, 2021

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) will debut an all-new bespoke online proprietary  platform designed to provide opportunities for the Canadian and global media industry to connect, pitch, and do meaningful business at its 42nd annual edition from June 14 to July 16.

Created specifically for the entertainment business to connect despite the challenges of COVID-19, the festival’s new virtual industry and event hub is expected to launch in April with sneak peeks in the months preceding. Among the platform’s offerings are a delegate lounge, live meetings, reserved tables and branded pavilions.

Of note, BANFF’s Marketplace Week is a new initiative for participants to meet, screen, pitch and socialize virtually in real time as well as attend the festival’s signature Summit Series keynotes, high level industry panels and curated events with top networks, streamers and major media companies.

The Rockie Awards International Program Competition is set for June 15, coinciding with the kick off to the Emmy voting period, to showcase the screen-based content and creators in 29 categories.

“Great content and successful business ventures are fueled by meaningful personal connections. BANFF has always been about bringing people together, and this year’s festival will do that on a grand virtual scale,” said BANFF executive director Jenn Kuzmyk (pictured) in a statement. “We believe our industry must recognize and act on its role in the movements for social, political, and environmental progress. This year’s festival content will continue to drive conversation and action, highlighting the power that the entertainment industry has to change minds, change policy, and create opportunities for those who have historically been underrepresented.”

BANFF 2021 will continue on June 21 to July 16 with a curated series of both live and interactive panel discussions, celebrity master classes, and conversations with top international media leaders.

The festival’s online delegate lounge environments will feature exhibitors and a communal space where individuals can connect for scheduled meetings, special curated events, and serendipitous networking. Companies and delegations will gather in virtual pavilions featuring multiple meeting spaces, and every delegate has their own customized private video conferencing room. Integrated messaging and scheduling tools will make the virtual meeting and pitching experience easy.

BANFF will serve up two different experiences for delegates: The Content Pass will provide those registered with access to all of the keynotes, panels and the Rockie Awards; while the Marketplace Pass, which will offer access to all networking including Speed Pitching, Speed Networking, Meet an Expert, 30 Minutes With buyer mandates and other exclusive opportunities.

From Playback Daily’s Lauren Malyk

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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