SXSW was cancelled this year due to COVID-19, but that isn't stopping organizers from offering a taste of what the Austin event would have offered. They're partnering with Amazon on an SXSW Film Festival Collection that will stream movies from the festival on Prime Video for 10 days, completely free in the US -- you won't need a subscription. While creators will have to opt in, they'll receive a screening fee for their trouble. Amazon and SXSW are tentatively looking at a late April timeframe for the virtual festival.
There's no doubt that Amazon stands to benefit from the collection. It'll both serve as a promotional vehicle for Prime Video and add some prestige. At the same time, it's also a significant goodwill gesture. Many filmmakers hope to premiere movies at SXSW in chances of landing deals and otherwise getting exposure for their work -- this gives them a second chance, and one with a wider potential audience at that.