A "streaming channel" approach to presenting a festival focused on the virtual experience

Written by George Reese

Last published at: November 30th, 2022

Customization Effort: Minimal
Profile: Online or using SparqFest only for the online events
Cautions: None

The Festflix theme provides a "streaming channel" experience to viewers and is thus a great theme for purely virtual festivals as well as festivals using SparqFest only for their online programming. It also works well for festivals emphasizing the virtual over the in-person.

Festflix aims for minimal customization to get going. It is primarily a black and white color scheme that uses your light and dark brand colors for flavor.

Note: Because this theme is a newly introduced component, the example images in this section come from our development site.

A sample Festflix home page


The only use of brand colors in the above screen shot from out development home page is the teal menu in the middle of the page. The black background and all of the white text are common among all sites using Festflix as theme. In short, there are no custom colors under this theme. You simply specify your light and dark brand colors as well as corresponding contrast colors.

The colors configured for the demo site shown in the screenshots are:

  • Dark Brand Color:  Dark Green 
  • Light Brand Color:  Yellow 
  • Dark Brand Contrast Color:  Yellow 
  • Light Brand Contrast Color:  Dark Green 
  • KB Button:  Light Green 


Festflix does not introduce any unique pages. This section, however, provides examples of what you can expect each page to look like. Actual pages naturally depend on how you have configured the theme and what content has been uploaded.

Common Elements

All pages share a footer template. In addition, the header is the same for every page except the home page. On child pages, the header appears in a black band across the top and includes the main site menu. On the home page, the header has a transparent background and sits overlayed on top of your welcome banner/video. The main site menu is not in the header, but instead below the welcome banner/video.

Inside the header, there are placements for your top-level sponsor. All sponsors of this type appear on every page of the site without any rotation.

The footer includes all of your social links as well as links to the SparqFest creator, judge, and staff portals. If your site is configured for multiple languages, a language preference option also appears in the footer.

What items appear in the main menu depend on what content you have uploaded and what stage your festival is at. The "Ticketing" link, for example, shows up only when you have tickets to sell. If your festival is not using our ticketing or your festival dates have passed, that link will not be live.

Possible links are:

  • Tickets - a link to the ticketing page
  • Official Selections - a link to the list of Official Selections
  • Events - a link to all non-screening events 
  • Screenings - a link to a list of all screenings whether virtual or in-person
  • Venues - a link to a list of venues for the current edition of the festival
  • Merchandise - if you have configured merchandising, a link to your merchandising site
  • Full Schedule - a link to a full schedule of the festival structured as a calendar

In addition, once logged in, a user can access the following pages:

  • User Profile Page - manage preferences and payment information
  • Watch List - manage favorited selections and quick access to previously watched content
  • Audience Choice Voting - page for participating in audience choice voting

Finally, the following pages are child pages to some of the above pages:

  • Selection Page - all content we have collected from a specific selection
  • Event Page - information about a specific event or screening
  • Venue Page - information about a festival venue

Home Page

As noted above, the home page has a different header and main menu than all other pages under this theme. The welcome banner/video is the primary content on the page with the header and festival dates overlayed on top of the banner/video. This welcome banner is the default content and is required even if you provide a welcome video. This welcome image comes from the configuration for the current edition of your festival. If the current edition is in the future or in progress, it will show the configured welcome banner. If, on the other hand, the current edition has passed, it will show the post-festival banner. Both are configured in the Staff Portal under "Settings" | "Editions" | [Current Edition] | "Graphics".

The home page also supports a welcome video that loops silently on top of the welcome banner (thus hiding the welcome banner). By the time you read this, there should be an option to upload a welcome video in the same area where you upload the welcome banner. If that option is not yet available, send contact SparqFest support and we will configure it for you.

Welcome Banner Requirements: 1940x692 JPG, PNG, or WebP image

Post-Festival Banner Requirements: 1940x692 JPG, PNG, or WebP image

Welcome Video Requirements: H.264 MP4 video at 1940x692

An example of the Festflix home page

Because this theme overlays information on top of the welcome banner/video, neither your banner nor your video should prominently feature text.

Below the welcome banner/video are a number of content "carousels". The home page includes the following content carousels (in the order in which they appear):

  1. A carousel containing all virtual screening blocks currently being promoted
  2. A carousel containing all live streams currently being promoted
  3. Zero or more carousels for content based on what you have configured in the Staff Portal to be promoted:
    1. One carousel for each theme if you are promoting themes
    2. One carousel for each genre if you are promoting genres
    3. One carousel for each perspective if you are promoting perspectives
    4. One carousel for each country if you are promoting countries
    5. One carousel for each language if you are promoting languages

In short, Festflix provides direct access to all online content straight from the home page.

Ticketing Page

As noted above, the ticketing page is available on the site only if you currently have tickets to sell.

An example of a Festflix Ticketing Page

Note: The browser in the above example is configured with a "comma" as a decimal separated as is common in Europe.

As you would expect, the ticketing page lists all available tickets and enables the audience to purchase tickets. A common design for child pages under the Festflix theme is the title of the page on the left, the main content in the middle, and supplementary information on the right.

In the case of the ticketing page, the main content is the list of tickets from which users may select. When a quantity is selected for a ticket, the purchase information on the right is updated. Up at the top, the user has the ability to enter a discount code as well as donate to the festival if you have configured your festival to accept donations.

Official Selections Page

The Official Selections page enables visitors to see all Official Selections that have uploaded sufficient information. As you might expect, a selection appears on this page only if "publicize selections" is enabled for the edition of the festival with which it is associated.

The Festflix Official Selections Page

When you go to this page, it not only lists the selections, but also lets you filter the list. What filters are available depend on how you have configured the festival in the festival settings area of the Staff Portal. For example, this festival has enabled the "promote genres" and "promote languages" settings. That means users can filter by genre or language. In addition, if you have been with us through multiple editions of your festival, people can see an archive of old selections.

Each selection shows its poster, the title, and the submission category (if you have turned on "show categories"). A user can click on the selection to get to the main page for that selection (aka the selection page).

Selection Page

Each Official Selection receives its own "Selection Page". The selection page enables the visitor to see all the information we have collected on the selection and, if allowed, view the selection "on-demand".

"Polo" as represented in the Festflix theme

The main area of the selection page contains project's poster with critical information about the selection, including how people can watch the selection. After the page loads, any trailer configured for the selection will automatically play (silently) over the selection poster while still allowing the user to interact with all content. They also have the ability to unmute the trailer and watch it.

Events Page

The events page lists all non-screening events. In other words, the events page will list both live streams as well as all in-person events EXCEPT in-person events with an event type of "Screening".

The Events page highlights your awards ceremony and the next event

The top part of the page highlights up to two events. One will be the awards ceremony (in-person if one exists, otherwise the virtual one) and the other will be the next scheduled event. If you have no awards ceremony in SparqFest, only the next event will appear. If all events have already taken place, there will be no highlighted events section.

The rest of the page contains the full list of events ordered by start time with past events moved to the end of the list. Viewers can see at a glance what kind of event each event is, as well as if it is in-person or online. Each event naturally links to its full event page.

Event Page

The event page is the official home for each event, including screening blocks and in-person screenings.

An example of the Festflix event page for an awards ceremony

The event page contains all information you have provided about the event, including links to the venue, a map showing the location, and any related content like a live streamed simulcast. Visitors can purchase tickets to attend the event straight from this page. Because the event in the example above has already occurred, there is a message that the event has passed instead of a button to purchase tickets.

Not shown in the above image is the "Related Content" section. It appears below the venue map.

Coming soon: venue weather

Live Streams

Live streams differ from what is shown above in that there is obviously no venue map and visitors are provided with a real time glance at how much time remains until they can join the live stream. Once the lobby for your live stream opens, a "Join Now" button appears on the page that allows them to join the live stream.


Screenings show the full program of selections for the screening event. In-person screenings provide a venue map whereas online screening blocks do not.

Screenings Page

The screenings page lists all screenings associated with your festival. Both screening blocks and in-person events of type "Screening" are listed here.

We Festflix screenings page lists screenings by venue, starting with “online”

This page groups all of the screenings by venue, with online screenings in the first group. At the top of the page are any highlighted screenings, if relevant. A screening is highlighted if it is a premiere of any sort, with priority given to world premiere screenings.

Each screening on the page shows the full program and show times. Times for online screening blocks are in the visitor's time zone and times for in-person blocks are listed in the venue time zone.

From this page, the visitor can click through to the event page for the screening as well as the individual selection pages.

Venues Page

The venues page provides a listing of all venues associated with the current edition of the festival. Simply adding a venue in the Staff Portal will not make it show up here. The venue must be associated with an event tied to the active edition of the festival.

The Festflix venues page gives quick access to venue information

Each venue appears with a link to Google Maps for the venue and the venue's venue page. If the venue has rooms associated with it, this page will list all of the rooms.

Venue Page

The venue page shows the details you have provided for each venue.

The venue pages feature your festival venues

Visitors get quick access to everything important about a venue, including what events are taking place at the venue.

Merchandise Page

Currently, the merchandise page is an external page you host or from a third-party like Shopify. In the future, we intend to add built-in merchandising capabilities and this theme will support that functionality when added.

Full Schedule Page

The schedule page enables visitors to get a look at the full festival schedule.

The schedule page shows each day of the festival with the events scheduled to start that day.

Each day of events from festival start until the end appears in order on this page (except for days that have no events). Each day shows every event for that day along to links to the event page and the venue page for that event. Icons show what kind of event it is and whether it is an in-person event or online event.

User Profile Page

The user profile page is where authenticated users manage their account with your festival.

User's manage their personal information on the User Profile Page

This page enables a visitor to transfer tickets, change their contact information, manage payment methods, view device registrations, and control their privacy settings.

Watch List

Visitors have the ability to "favorite" individual selections. In addition, we keep track of everything they have been watching. The watch list page provides them with access both to their favorite selections and everything they have been watching previously.

A Watch List page with favorite shows and previously viewed shows

Audience Choice Page

The audience choice page is where your audience goes to vote.

A sample audience choice voting page

The audience choice page is available only if you are using our judging module to perform audience choice voting. Though a full description of this functionality is outside the scope of this document, this page shows all of the available categories in which a viewer can vote on the left side along with all of the selections the visitor has seen (online or in-person) listed on the right side. The viewer can then drag selections from the right over to the category on the left. Viewers can alternatively click on the category and select from a list eligible selections.