Moving major cultural institutions online

Cultural institutions are rapidly adapting to the reality that the physical relationship they have with their audiences will inevitably need to be replaced with digital interactions. This is requiring a rapid transformation for festivals, museums and cultural programs, disrupting not only how they generate revenue but the art of curation. Join us as we explore the challenges and opportunities facing major cultural institutions in 2020 and beyond. Featuring Al Cossar, Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Film Festival Artistic Director and Esther Anatolitis, Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts.

13 August 2020
3:00 am - 4:00 am


  • Moderated by Andrew Apostola, CEO, Portable
  • Al Cossar, Festival Director, Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF)
  • Esther Anatolitis, Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).

What we'll cover

In this hour-long webinar we will cover the challenges and opportunities facing major cultural institutions in 2020. In 2006 Portable launched the Portable Film Festival, the first of its kind to take cinema online to a new generation of audiences. We’ll look back at how cultural institutions have progressed towards digital programming, before jumping forward to 2020 to explore the current challenges faced by a range of organisations in bringing audiences online. We’ll explore the following themes:

  • Audience demographics and their relationship with technology and cultural programming
  • Navigating the new world of digital program management for online audiences
  • Cultural shifts within institutions required to make transformation successful
  • The broad challenges facing the film festival industry internationally
  • What the future might look like over the next five years

About our speakers

Al Cossar is the Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Film Festival, where he has previously held roles of Programmer, Acting Artistic Director, and Associate Artistic Director.

He was previously Festival Manager for Flickerfest, a Programmer and Board Member for the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, Program Director for the Portable Film Festival, among others, has worked for ACMI within Public Programs, and was previously a broadcast film critic for ABC News Breakfast.

Esther Anatolitis is one of Australia’s leading advocates for arts and culture. Her practice rigorously integrates professional and artistic modes of working to create collaborations, projects and workplaces that promote a critical reflection on practice. Esther is Executive Director of NAVA, Deputy Chair of Contemporary Arts Precincts and a former board member of the Australian Center for the Moving Image. In 2020 Esther was appointed Honorary Associate Professor at RMIT School of Art, and she is also a Member of AICA Australia.

Who's it for

The session is designed for the following audience:

  • Management teams at cultural institutions looking to transform the way they interact with audiences
  • Filmmakers and distributors interested in how film festivals are adapting to a post COVID-19 landscape
  • Artist and creative practitioners seeking to extend their knowledge around digital communication

Webinar details

Thursday the 13th of August, 1-2pm AEDT

A link to join the webinar will be provided to registered participants via email on Thursday 13 August

After the 50 minute presentation, attendees will be invited to stay for a Q&A session with the panelists for up to 10 mins, and a recording of the webinar will be distributed to all registered participants in the days after the event.

What if I can't make it?

You're in luck. This webinar will be recorded and published as a video on the Portable website at a later date.

If you cannot make Thursday's event but would like to know when this video goes live you can register for the 'Send me the recording' option in the registration section.

Graphic recording by Sarah Firth

We were delighted to have Sarah Firth complete a live graphic recording to capture the key insights during the event. See below or watch the live version.

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