Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 10.36.05 AMLike many of China’s consumers, Beijing’s 5th International Film Festival (BJIFF) will be very digital. Local video sites and social networks are vying for coverage of the event, as well as leveraging their partnerships to premiere original content.

Several of the events, including the opening ceremony, will be live-streamed on the BJIFF website, as well as on Tencent Video, Youku Tudou, Sohu and iQiyi. The BJIFF will also post live updates on social platforms Weibo and WeChat.

Increasing numbers of Chinese people of all ages are bypassing the living room TV in favour of online web series. The appetite for digital films is no different, as can be seen in the online focus of the forthcoming festival.

Local content producers like Sohu and Youku Tudou’s Heyi Pictures are ramping up their original content offerings. According to a spokesperson from Youku Tudou, the company will be premiering nine online movies this year, with the option of theatrical releases depending on their web popularity.

Sohu is also capitalizing on the momentum of online video, adapting their most popular comedy web series Diors Man  (with over 2.3 billion cumulative views) for a silver screen release this July.

During the festival, Youku Tudou’s film division Heyi Pictures will be premiering feature film Ever Since We Love, as well as exhibiting eight micro-movies. The company revealed a large investment in the micro-movie ecosystem earlier this year and will host a forum on April 21st as part of the festival, to discuss this developing industry.

“The festival serves as an excellent opportunity to bring Heyi Pictures on the stage where international and domestic film industries get together to network and cooperate.” said Allen Zhu, head of Heyi Pictures.

Image Source: BJIFF

Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)