Screen shot from the documentary “Project Shiphunt,” about the adventure of five high school students from Saginaw, Mich, as they assisted in the hunt for a shipwreck on Lake Huron. The film is one of the Official Selection films to be screened in the 2020 virtual Arkhaios Cultural Heritage and Archaeology Film Festival, viewable online through Oct. 11.

The Arkhaios Cultural Heritage and Archaeology Film Festival is in its eighth year, but for the first time is a virtual festival, for obvious reasons.

Arkhaios is an educational event to showcase the discovery of past cultures gained from ethnological (present) or archaeological (past) research and illustrated by documentary films. It is a free festival presenting films from around the world, half of them for the first time in the USA. Films were selected from among the entries by a screening committee, and their choices are screened and judged by a jury.

The festival began on Hilton Head Island in 2013 with 14 films screened over three days. Founder Jean Guilleux created the festival to bring to the general population documentary films focused specifically on past cultures. He also hoped to trigger the interest of local filmmakers to apply their art to the state’s history.

In 2017, the screenings moved to the campus of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, with another festival and archaeology conference in Pittsburgh. This year, the festival comes back to one central location, so to speak – online.

It is a juried competition, covering World Heritage, Local Heritage (South Carolina and Pennsylvania), and Underwater Archaeology. Twenty-five films will be presented at the festival, which can be screened during the week from the comfort of one’s home, through midnight Oct. 11.

Awards will be announced at 5 p.m. Oct 10.

The program is composed of the Arkhaios Official Selection (14 films in competition) and Selected Registered Films (11 films out of competition). The audience has a chance to vote online for the Audience Favorite Film award.

The festival site is accessed at

The festival is free and requires a one-time registration. Each film is accessed by unlocking the film and pressing the “Watch now” tab.

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