Star Cinema and the Theatre Royal in Castlemaine are two of seven regional venues hosting Melbourne International Film Festival events in August.
MIFF was scheduled to launch on August 5 but the Victorian lockdown forced its cancellation.
With Melbourne remaining in lockdown, regional cinemas are now the only places to exclusively see some of the films being screened by MIFF.
Star Cinema programming manager Hannah Morton said it was heartbreaking to see MIFF metropolitan program move to online for a second year but regional venues would have a chance to showcase some excellent films.
"You heart goes out to the whole MIFF team, who worked so hard until the last moment (on the festival) but the pleasant quirk for regional cinemas to be able to screen a bulk of the sessions," she said.
"Regional Victorian cinemas are now the only ones who the have opportunity to see some of these films. A number of them aren't going to other cinemas."
Theatre Royal co-owner Felicity Cripps said the theatre was excited to host film premieres as part of a prestigious event like MIFF.
"Theatre Royal feels incredibly fortunate to be able to host such a reputable festival in our town," she said.
"While we can't help but get super excited about this amazing program, we would like to extend our sympathies and love to our fellow entertainment venues in the city who are unable to operate and participate in this year's festival.
"(We) will host a selection of additional films over the next fortnight, including world premieres and live Q&A's with the some of the directors and crew located in regional Victoria."
MIFF artistic director Al Cossar said this year's festival was designed with flexible and resilient elements to allow parts of the festival to continue if others couldn't.
"We're thrilled that our regional in-cinema component and our national digital streaming component to the festival (MIFF Play) can go on at a time where so much can't," he said.
"It's a very difficult moment for us at the festival, but we're determined to meet audiences where they are this year, and we remain delighted that some audiences will also be able to experience the festival in cinemas this year."
"There's some amazing world premiere titles in the mix from the MIFF supported Premiere Fund films. It's a very, very rare opportunity that these films will now in fact be having their first screenings at MIFF in the regions, rather than in Melbourne. "
This year was the first time regional cinemas were able to host MIFF at the same time as the Melbourne events.
"Usually it is a travelling show that happens are the festival," Ms Morton said. "We've got good relationship with MIFF but to essentially be a festival venue is exciting.
"We worked with MIFF to help select some of the content and I'm excited to see some of that at the same time as our audiences. We are also opening a festival hub for duration of the festival to create a festival atmosphere, which is a great part of MIFF."
Mr Cossar said expanding MIFF to include regional venues was part of their plans in 2020.
"Our digital season saw regional audiences increase by tenfold in a single year," he said. "We would normally have a Travelling Film Showcase operating out of season, but give the surge in viewership, we really wanted to expand our regional footprint and focus on making MIFF a festival for all Victorians.
"So in planning for 2021, we doubled the number of regional screenings days, and folded them into our main August dates, to also maximise potential filmmaker and guest participation in the regions. I'm sure (regional involvement) will remain something of central importance to us, as our audience and community, in the future."
Ms Morton said the possibility of welcoming filmmakers and actors for premieres and screenings was exciting.
"One of the things possibly coming out of this is the number of cast and crew involved in the films that live in regional Victoria," she said. "There is so little movement around possible visits. While (cast and crew) can't get to Melbourne, they are in a position to come see people watching their films in (regional) cinemas."
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