The Independent Film Society of Colorado is taking its popular Colorado Short Circuit Film Festival online this year, bringing more than 50 independent, Colorado-based films to fans via streaming over a period of three days. Now in its fifth year, the festival, which is part of the Indie Spirit Film Festival (also held in Colorado Springs), celebrates award-winning shorts in a variety of genres from Colorado independent filmmakers.

While fans might miss the in-person theater experience, the shift to a virtual screening does come with some benefits — and we aren’t talking about the ability to pause and take a bathroom break or park it in your favorite spot on the couch with a bottle of wine. The virtual session also means there are fewer time constraints and no need for multiple physical rooms to display different films to in-person audiences. That means that this year, the festival will present four feature films in their lineup, including two from Colorado Springs filmmakers: Ash Keris and Wes Clark.

Ash Kreis’s HERO is a documentary that explores the story of a young cancer patient named Hero who finds solace in the Furry Fandom after a failed lung replacement. Wes Clark’s Riddle Me This follows two detectives tackling the dual threats of a vigilante and a killer who calls himself the “Riddler.”

Of course, the two features aren’t the only films to come from Colorado Springs filmmakers or have their roots in the city some other way. There’s Both Genders, an 8-minute Youth Documentary Academy short from filmmaker and Sand Creek High School graduate Stevie Earnest about a self-described “demi boy” named Jes; and DOM, a heartbreaking Youth Documentary Academy film about teen suicide from filmmaker and Palmer High School alumnus Kalia Hunter. Fill out your local film support roster with viewings of False Color, More than A.D.D. and #YouToo.

Because you can watch all the films online at your leisure, this year’s $45 pass for all film blocks is a pretty amazing deal. However, there is a time limit to finish once you launch a your films, so it’s a good idea to treat a home screening like you would a day in the theater at the actual festival — commit to what you can actually find time to watch. Fortunately, they are short films, so the blocks won’t translate into eight straight hours unless you plan it that way yourself.

If you can’t commit to the $45, the festival offers short, themed blocks for $10. Themes include horror and science fiction, comedy and drama, experimental, women in film and an eclectic collection of shorts about the last year titled “2020 Year of the Pandemic.”

Of course, a good festival — virtual or otherwise — just isn’t complete without awards and a little bit of engagement. The festival will also be screening Q&A clips with filmmakers and presenting special awards in a streamed ceremony on Sunday evening.

Friday, March 26-Sunday, March 28, $10-$45,