Financial terms of the deal between Avanti and Sony were not disclosed although Avanti said it is the equivalent of £250,000 in media value for UK digital out of home networks that will screen the festival.
The Sony-sponsored film festival will be shown on Avanti's digital out-of-home network, as well as on City Gateway's LED screen in Manchester and the BBC's 16 large-format screens in city centres in the UK.
The festival will show the top 30 of 700 entries - submitted around the theme of Journey – until 3 June.
Avanti claims the festival will be broadcast across 16,000 screens worldwide, reaching an estmated 189 million people.
Simon Rees, chief executive of Avanti, said Sony's involvement in Art by Chance demonstrated the electronics brand's belief in digital media as a communications platform.