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After a virtual 2020 edition, the 42nd annual Banff World Media Festival (June 14-July 16) is set to go the same route for 2021, this time on a new bespoke online platform designed specifically for the entertainment business.

Through this new platform, the festival will feature more formats to connect participants with each other one-on-one and in groups. The new platform will launch in April.

The annual Rockie Awards International Program Competition is also confirmed for June 15. The competition is open to genres and platforms including drama, non-fiction, digital, kids, youth and podcasts. 2020 winners included “Fleabag,” “Chernobyl” and “Gentleman Jack.”

The first leg of the festival, from June 14-18, will see a new initiative called Marketplace Week, where participants can virtually meet, screen, pitch and socialize in real time. The festival’s popular Summit Series keynotes will return, alongside industry panels and networking events.

The second leg of the festival, from June 21-July 16, will feature topical panel discussions, celebrity masterclasses, and In Conversation events.

“Great content and successful business ventures are fuelled by meaningful personal connections. Banff has always been about bringing people together, and this year’s festival will do that on a grand virtual scale,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, executive director of the Banff World Media Festival.

“We believe our industry must recognize and act on its role in the movements for social, political and environmental progress. This year’s festival content will continue to drive conversation and action, highlighting the power that the entertainment industry has to change minds, change policy, and create opportunities for those who have historically been underrepresented,” said Kuzmyk.