It has been a lot longer than it should have been:
Moving beyond the confines of a physical film festival, digital platforms allow for a greater level of experimentation, further screening and a diversity of viewing experiences. Whilst it will never capture (or even re-capture) the experience of viewing films on a large screen, the proliferation of screenings via data projectors, online movie files screened via USB and the VLC media player, the digital platform coheres with this type of viewing – to an extent. The success of Mubi and Netflix further attests to this digital turn. The communality is, however, certainly lost. From the critic's perspective, the communal experience of watching a film nuances the review, particularly when it requires an affective and/or emotional response from the viewers.
That said, an interesting and important development concerns the circulation of a short film prior to its release online. Filmmakers are hesitant to release films on digital platforms, such as Youtube and Vimeo until the short film has had its 'life' on the film festival circuit. There appears to be a time-frame, of around a year from the time of production where films (particularly my experience with short films) follow the film festival route. The festival and, more importantly, the viewing theatre still hold a certain value in the eyes of the (short film) producers.