How to watch films virtually
Most of the 2023 Freep Film Festival lineup is available for at-home streaming. This document will walk you through how to buy virtual tickets or passes — and how to access the films.
A few important notes:
- There are a few films in this year’s lineup that are not available virtually.
- Many of the films are only available for viewing inside Michigan. Some of the films are blocked from viewing outside of Michigan.
- Many of the films have a capped number of total tickets. That means that despite being virtual, they can sell out.
The following films are available virtually for streaming at home.
“Being Satori Circus ~ A Performance Documentary in Five Acts”
“Detroit: The City of Churches”
“Elmore Leonard: ‘But Don’t Try To Write’”
“In Search of Bengali Harlem”
“Lead and Copper”
“Make Me Famous”
“Real Fresh University Showcase”
“Shorts Program #1: Creative Types”
“Shorts Program #2: The Great Up North”
“Shorts Program #3: Divided We Fall”
“Shorts Program #4: Our Voices, Our Communities”
“Shorts Program #5: Belonging”
“The Cave of Adullam”
“The Donut King”
“Wisdom Gone Wild”
“With Peter Bradley”
To purchase individual virtual film screenings, please click the BUY TICKETS HERE button on their respective film pages.
Our full lineup can be found here.
How to buy tickets
- Tickets are on sale now, and will be on sale through April 30. Individual screenings are $12.
- Tickets to individual films are available at the individual film pages. The individual film pages are all accessible here: https://freepfilmfestival.com/2023-films/.
- Just click on Tickets and More Info button to get to the individual film page, which will include this Buy Tickets button.
- After clicking on Buy Tickets, a new tab will open on your web browser. You’ll see a screen that looks like this:
- To buy a virtual ticket, click on the button that says Available on Thu., April 27, 12:01 a.m. (Virtual). More on that date a little later.
- Choose your number of tickets with the ^ button. If you’re watching the film in a single household, on the same device, at the same time, you only need to buy one ticket — regardless of how many people you are watching with. Multiple households? Multiple devices? Different viewing times? That requires multiple tickets.
- After selecting the number of tickets, hit the Add to Cart button. If you want to purchase tickets to another film, go back to the browser tab for the Freep Film Festival website, and you can add tickets for another film to your cart. You can also browse additional films at the FFF page on the website of our ticketing partner, Elevent: https://www.goelevent.com/Freep/e/Search. If you only want to purchase the film that you just added, click Continue to Checkout.
- Then you’ll be prompted to sign in (if you’ve bought through Freep Film Festival or our ticketing provider, Elevent, before) or create a new account (if you are a first-time buyer).
- Next, you’ll be prompted to pay for your films by credit card.
- That completes the purchase process. Now, let’s watch the film!
How to watch the films
- If you buy the tickets in advance of the festival or on April 27, you will receive an email one hour before the film becomes available for screening. For the 2023 festival, the films become available at 12:01 a.m. Thu., April 27.
- If you buy your tickets at any point between April 27 and May 3, you will immediately receive the email that will allow you to watch the film.
- Important note: You do not need to watch the film at a specific time. The 12:01 a.m. Thu., April 27 timing only signifies when the film first becomes available. The festival’s films are available for viewing from April 27 through May 3. Additionally, once you access the film, you have 72 hours to complete your viewing. That means if you start on May 3, you have three more days to finish.
- The email will arrive from Elevent (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a direct link to watch the film. There also will be a voucher code for that film or event. Use the instructions below to walk through the watch process.
- Note: If you purchased tickets to multiple films, you will receive a separate email for each film.
- You can also go to virtual.goelevent.com. From there you will see:
- Enter your individual film voucher code to watch your film! You can watch anytime April 27-May 3. Once you click the play button, you will have 72 hours to complete the film you have selected. If you purchase tickets on April 30, you will still have 72 hours to watch your film – meaning until May 3.
How to watch as a pass holder
- Purchase a pass at https://freepfilmfestival.com/passes/. It’s worth nothing the Virtual-Only Virtual pass is $TBA and provides virtual access to all films available in the festival.
- The purchasing steps will be the same as for ticketholders (in the example above).
- After you purchase your pass, you will receive an email from CineSend (email@example.com), inviting you to join the Freep Film Festival Online Portal, which will look like this:
- Click the JOIN button and you will see the following screen:
- Create a password and then click Create Account. Don’t forget to write down your password for later.
- If you need to get back to the online portal, just use this link: virtual.goelevent.com.
- All films screening virtually will be available April 27-May 3, 2023, through this online portal. With the Virtual passes, you can choose to watch any of the available films, at any time, during those dates.
Remember, from the time you press Play on a film, you’ll have 72 hours to complete your viewing. This means you’ll have three extra days for anything you watch beginning on Sunday, April 30.
Q: Can I watch Q&As if I choose virtual tickets or passes?
A: The quick answer: It depends. For a couple films, we’ll be recording Q&As in advance and they’ll be available at any point. In one instance, we’ll be recording a live Q&A at our in-person screening and uploading it to the virtual site once they are complete. Some films will have no virtual Q&As.
We’ll include the information about Q&As – virtual and in-person — on the individual film pages on the Freep Film Festival website.
If the conversation happened before you watched the film, once the film concludes, you will see a button that says, “Click here to watch post-film discussion!” which will lead you to the recording.
Q: Why do the virtual tickets all say “Available Thu., April 27 12:00 a.m.”?
That is the first time the film is available. It is not the time you need to watch the film. The film is available for purchase – or viewing — through the duration of the festival.
Q: What is a “watch window”?
A: Ticket holders will receive email links to watch the film. The watch window is the amount of time you have to watch the film once you press “PLAY.”
Q: How long are watch windows?
A: All films have 72-hour watch windows. If you have an issue, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Can I pause or rewind during the watch window?
A: Yes, you have complete access to the entire program during your watch window.
Q: Will I be able to start the film at the beginning and watch the next day?
A: You can stop, start and rewind. But once more than 95% of the film has been played, you cannot rewind to the beginning to rewatch.
Q: If I am a passholder, does the watch window pertain to me?
A: No, as a passholder, you can watch the films as many times as you like throughout the duration of the festival April 27-May 3, 2023.
Q: Can I watch the films from anywhere?
A: For some films, yes. For some films, no. Many of our festival offerings are only available to watch in Michigan. This type of limited availability, known as geo-blocking, is used by festivals around the country.
Q: Why would the festival geo-block? Wouldn’t it be better to just make all the films available to everyone?
Freep Film Festival does its best to partner with filmmakers who bring their documentaries to our event. In some cases, they prefer that access is limited to the festival’s footprint. This allows them more flexibility to take their documentary to other festivals around the country — or pursue a wide variety of distribution opportunities.
In short, it helps preserve the film’s audience for the filmmaker. We think that’s a good thing.
Q: What if my film is not playing smoothly?
A: We use adaptive bitrate streaming, which means the streaming quality will automatically adjust based on your internet speed. If your internet connection is weak or inconsistent, you may experience problems during playback. If you’re on wifi, try moving closer to your router. To test your internet, go to speedtest.net and click Go. Wait for the test to complete. For good quality streaming, you need an available download speed of at least 5 Mbps. If you’re getting slower speeds, try resetting your internet router or contacting your internet provider’s technical support.
Q: What are Elevent and CineSend? I see these names on certain pages.
A: These systems give us the ability to virtually screen the films with ease. CineSend is the video-on-demand system. Elevent is our ticketing provider. The ticketing and video-on-demand systems work together to give you the best ticketing and viewing experience!
- How can I watch the films on my TV?
There are several options for watching the films on your TV, rather than the laptop, phone or device where you made your purchase. They are all dependent on the equipment or software you have at home. Here is a rundown of some common possibilities:
- Chromecast: If you have a Chromecast device, you can use it to push the film to your TV. You must be using the Chrome browser on your Android, Windows, or Mac OS device. After clicking the “View” button in your virtual access email, press “Play” on the next page. Then cast directly from the player window by clicking the icon in the lower right-hand corner of the browser window. Connect directly from the video. Do not use in-screen mirror mode. Note: Chromecasting is not available for iPhone or iPad. The browser on iOS devices does not support the necessary anti-piracy protocols. (To stop mirroring your iOS device, open Control Center, tap Screen Mirroring, then tap Stop Mirroring.)
- Airplay: Click on your Airplay icon on your device and then turn on your TV or device you would like to view from (it must be Airplay compatible). Once the devices find each other, you may be prompted to enter a code. Enter the code to give your device access. After clicking the “View” button in your virtual access email, press “Play” on the next page. Connect directly from the video. Do not use in-screen mirror mode.
- Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Firestick: You can watch from these devices. From your Roku (Roku 4 and above), Apple TV (gen 4 and above and tvOS 14.4.0 and above) or Amazon Fire app store, search for the Elevent TV app, being sure to include the space between “Elevent” and “TV.”
Once you’ve downloaded the Elevent TV app, and if you are a ticket holder, enter you 9-digit voucher code by selecting “Enter Code” under “Ticket Holders” on the left.
If you’re a pass holder, select “Login with pass” under “Pass Holders” on the right and you will then be prompted to go to https://virtual.goelevent.com/pair on a web browser and enter the alphanumeric pairing code now appearing on your TV. (See below)
Once you’ve paired your device, you’ll be able to access all of the content on your TV directly.
Alternatively, you will be given the option to enter your Elevent email and password to login as a passholder to the Elevent TV app. From there you will be able to view content directly on your TV.
- Other Smart TVs: If you can access your email in your Smart TV’s built-in browser, try clicking the “View” button in the virtual access email, followed by “Play” on the next page. Not all Smart TVs will be able to play videos in this manner.
- HDMI cable: You can also connect an HDMI cable from your device to your TV. If your device does not have an HDMI plug in, you might require additional adaptors to connect an HDMI cable. Note: Using a lightning to HDMI adapter is NOT supported.
Q: What do I do if I can’t figure out how to watch the film?
A: First, our partners at Elevent have put together another FAQ. It contains some additional information beyond what you see here. Here is the Elevent FAQ: https://goelevent.reamaze.com/kb/virtual-events-0cf4d028b7f552f2/virtual-events-faq
If you are still struggling, email email@example.com and include the details, a screenshot and your phone number and we will help you as best as we can!