How to stay entertained during quarantine? Cinema from home and online tours in 2500 museums

by Agne Cimermanaite

Many events have been cancelled in this period of crisis. Even for those inclined to go out, which is not advisable, the chances of finding something to do are very low. But life goes on and to make the situation better, much cultural content is moving online, providing safe entertainment accessible from home. 

Here is how you can attend film festivals online and watch interesting movies from home. And if you are hungry for art while stuck at home, a huge number of international museums now offer free online tours of their collections. 

Alternative films from the cinema of the Dam’d

Cinema of the Dam’d is a part of a collective at the OT301 cultural centre in Amsterdam. It has shared a list of films that can be accessed on the internet without a fee. The list is constantly updated and only contains material in English. It includes selections from the Korean Film Festival, the National Film Board of Canada, the Arsenal cinema in Berlin and The Leeds Queer Film Festival. There are works for every taste and mood worth checking out, from short films and documentaries to experimental films and B-movies.

IDFA goes online: 300 documentaries on the web at no cost

The International Documentary Film-festival Amsterdam, or simply IDFA, has put 300 documentaries on the web at no cost and another 525 at very low prices, including short and medium-length films from the last thirty years (1989-2019). Even more content will be added in the future. Daily tips are provided on the platform to help viewers choose a film.

IDFA’s move to online viewing was repeated by Movies that Matter, a festival in The Hague, which has decided to make its content available at a rather low cost. Artistic director Margje de Koning is delighted to be able to share the festival program despite the difficult situation.

There is no quarantine for human rights. The Movies That Matter Film Festival offers an online version for the 2020 edition

The Movies That Matter Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing films that highlight important issues. The international festival takes place once a year in Den Haag, mainly in the cinemas of the Filmhuis. Human rights, cultural minorities, gender, sex and religion are a few themes that characterise the film event. The Festival is also a platform for meetings, debates and workshops to deal directly with authors, directors and activists who fight every day to defend human rights.

Movies That Matter 2020 was cancelled due to the coronavirus. Nevertheless, the festival will not stop — an online platform has been activated where you can see the films originally scheduled for screening. Just connect with Picl, the online cinema platform of Den Haag’s Filmhuis. 

Some currently available movies are: Lamentations of Judas, by Boris Gerrets, which tells the story of black Angolans who fought for white South Africa. Ximei, by Andy Cohen / Gaylen Ross, is an intimate portrait of AIDS activist Liu Ximei and the many who contracted the virus through blood transfusions. No Gold for Kalsaka, by Michel K Zongo and Florian Schewe, highlights the false promises made by the government of Burkina Faso to the small village of Kalsaka.

For more information, check the Festival website.

Don’t forget the museums: online tours are available in 2500 art institutions

Google Arts & Culture initiative includes many of the largest museums in the world. Among them are the Tate Modern and the British Museum in London, the MoMa and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Reina Sofia in Madrid and many others. In most cases, you can browse through entire online exhibitions. You can also walk inside the rooms using Google Street view.

The Netherlands has given the access to the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Mauritshuis and the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo and the Lukas – Art in Gent’s Flanders.

In Belgium, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp are virtually open to the public.


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