The festive season is upon us, but the social restrictions this year has imposed mean there is little scope for ﬂying out and revelry. But fret not, for there are plenty of festivals that will stream the celebration to your screens. By Shrimayee Thakur
The Hong Kong Tourism Board is exploring new frontiers to bring this popular annual culinary event to its audience in a new digital avatar this year. Since this will also allow it to reach a larger audience, unrestrained by geographical boundaries, the festival will be held for several weeks in November this year, instead of four days. The full programme hasn’t been released at the time of printing this magazine, but the digital festival promises as much excitement as its real-life version, with exclusive offers from wine merchants, which you can avail once you pick out your favourite wine from themed wine-tasting classes by sommeliers. You can also learn to whip up delicious cocktails with top mixologists, and cook gourmet meals with chefs.
In its eighth edition, Ake Arts & Book Festival is answering the clarion call against racism and pushing for a new Africa—one that’s going past its history of colonial abuse and poor leadership to create the continent that its residents have always dreamed of. The theme, African Time, is a celebration of African creativity. Hear authors, including Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka, speak about their work, or tune into panel discussions on topics ranging from harnessing anger for change, and Africa’s cultural response to the novel coronavirus, to the need for feminism in African society. You can also hone your writing skills in workshops organised by the festival that will run from October 22 to 25, 2020.
The organisers of India Science Festival are dedicated to bridging the gap between science and society, and firmly believe that India’s advancement in terms of its innovations in the field of science and technology is key to building a bright future for the country. ISF offers roundtables around science policy, workshops with scientists, and discussions with great minds around the world, coupled with art, music, dance, and drama to create a wholesome offering. You can even register to showcase your own invention at this extravaganza. The 2021 edition of this festival will be held in January, and the organisers are inviting you to be a part of the 60-plus sessions from your home.
Explore all things vegan and healthy at VegfestUK, a new concept in vegan events that is being hosted online with exhibitors, shopping facilities, live-streaming, headline acts, talks, debates, activism, workshops, music, comedy, and more. The event is being held over a weekend, starting November 14, 2020. There will also be a Trade and Media Day on November 13, which will be open from 10am to 8pm for bonaﬁde trade and media delegates.
The largest festival of its kind in Southern California, the Los Angeles Asian Paciﬁc Film Festival brings out a plethora of intellectually stimulating international ﬁlms in its 36th edition. The festival is presenting an incredible line-up of 225 ﬁlmmakers over ﬁve weekends, from September 24 to October 31, 2020, including world premieres for both short and feature ﬁlms such as Kenya Gillespie’s Michelle, Patrick Nan’s Stasis, Mallorie Ortega’s The Girl Who Left Home, and Yuechen Hao’s One Meal. Those who receive the festival’s Golden Reel Award for Narrative/ Animated Short Film will also be eligible to submit their work in the Animated Short Film/ Live-Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards.
IFP started in 2011 as a one-of-a-kind 50-hour filmmaking project, where creators across Asia came for a selected weekend to shoot, edit, and present their films. Now, nine years later, it has expanded to include workshops for storytelling, design, music, and filmmaking, along with talks by leading personalities from the industry. The festival also provides a platform for creators just starting out to connect with their peers. This year, it will be held online from October 22 to 25, and promises to be an unforgettable experience.
One of the world’s most prestigious architecture festivals, WAF is organising a digital segment this year from November 30 to December 4. While there will still be an ofﬂine festival organised in June 2021 in Lisbon, the online segment aims to bring together the architecture and design community on a digital platform at a crucial and difﬁcult time. The festival will have panel discussions, special WAF prizes, networking events, and talks. Headline speakers will be Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang, Ben van Berkel, founder of UNStudio, and Sir Peter Cook, founder of experimental architecture collective Archigram.
WCFF aims to create awareness and inspire wildlife conservation through the powerful visual means of ﬁlm. It is renowned for its selection of the ﬁ nest wildlife conservation and natural history ﬁlms. The festival is based in New York, and due to the continued closure of theatres in the city, the festival is being held online this year—through the entire month of October. There will be an array of 150 documentary ﬁlms, along with daily live chats with international ﬁlmmakers, advocates, and scientists, all of whom are dedicated to preserving and protecting wildlife around the globe.
An annual music festival in Kraków, Poland, Unsound deals with experimental and left-field forms of contemporary music, and related visual arts. Over the years, Unsound has become a safe haven for music deemed too ‘weird’ for regular festivals, and prides itself on being a platform where artistic ideas can flow freely among musicians, visual artists, curators, journalists, record label owners, and booking agents from around the globe. This year, the festival is being conducted online from October 1 to 11. Along with the festival, Unsound is also focussing on Intermission, a book and album to be released in November 2020, dedicated to the artistic response to the pandemic.
Whether you’re an avid gamer or a professional game developer, the Melbourne International Games Week has something for you. The festival, which is being held from October 3 to 11, 2020, features online conferences on composition and sound art for gaming, and events for the industry and game enthusiasts. Some examples include a workshop hosted by Girls Geek Academy that will teach girls aged six and older how to make their own games, and Game Connect Asia Paciﬁc, which is Australia’s premier professional development and networking event for the gaming industry.