U.S. Genre Film Fests Plan Virtual NIGHTSTREAM Festival Amid Pandemic

Nightstream poster - Publicity -H 2020
Courtesy of Sister Hyde
The four-day event, to launch Oct. 8, will feature films from the Boston Underground, Brooklyn Horror, North Bend, Overlook and Popcorn Frights festivals.

Five U.S. genre film festivals, navigating a new terrain amid the COVID-19 crisis, have announced the launch of a new online-only festival, NIGHTSTREAM, to jointly screen films and other programming from their events.

The Boston Underground Film Festival, Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, North Bend Film Festival, Overlook Film Festival and the Popcorn Frights Film Festival will combine to stage the virtual frightfest from Oct. 8 to 11. Programmers from all five festivals will collaborate on the NIGHTSTREAM film line up, to focus on U.S. and international horror, fantasy, sci-fi, vanguard and underground titles.

The short film programs will be individually curated by each festival. The inaugural NIGHTSTREAM event will also include live events and panels. The film and events lineup will be announced in late September.

The participating five genre festivals either had to be cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic ahead of their alignment in the online space timed for Halloween. The launch of NIGHTSTREAM follows the COVID-19 crisis shutting down live events in the entertainment industry, including film festivals which have seen a sharp drop in their revenues.

Proceeds from the NIGHTSTREAM event will be shared with all participating filmmakers and artists, and donations will be made by each festival to charitable causes and local businesses in their home cities.

NIGHTSTREAM will offer five or ten film packages, priced at $55 and $90 respectively, with each package granting unlimited access to live events and panels.

The combined festival will be geo-locked to the U.S. and hosted on Eventive, which offers security features to prevent piracy. Earlier, the Fantasia International Film Festival, North America's largest genre festival, unveiled plans to head online due to the COVID-19 crisis with a virtual screening event from Aug. 20 to Sept. 2 to mirror where possible a traditional theatrical experience.