With movie theaters closed, lockdowns in place and travel plans halted, the world’s top film festivals are giving film lovers a huge treat to keep them entertained throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“We Are One: A Global Film Festival,” hosted by YouTube in partnership with Tribeca Enterprises, is a 10-day virtual festival that will bring this year’s film festival submissions to the comfort of your own home.
The event will feature programming from 20 world-class film festivals including the Berlin International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and Venice Film Festival.
“We often talk about film’s uniquely powerful role in inspiring and uniting people across borders and differences to help heal the world,” said Jane Rosenthal, who co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival, in a press release. “All of the world needs healing right now.”
The lineup of films is yet to be revealed, but organizers promise an array of features, shorts, documentaries, music, comedy and conversations from each of the festivals.
“‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’ unites curators, artists and storytellers to entertain and provide relief to audiences worldwide,” said Rosenthal. “In working with our extraordinary festival partners and YouTube we hope that everyone gets a taste of what makes each festival so unique and appreciates the art and power of film.”
Earlier this month, Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux dismissed the idea of a digital festival in an interview with Variety, claiming films should wait to be shown on the big screen. But he has now switched gears and showed his support for the 10-day virtual program in a joint statement with Pierre Lescure, president of the Cannes Film Festival.
“We are proud to join with our partner festivals to spotlight truly extraordinary films and talent, allowing audiences to experience both the nuances of storytelling from around the world and the artistic personalities of each festival,” they said.
The online screenings will be free, but the organizers of the virtual festival hope cinema lovers will donate to raise money for the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
“We Are One: A Global Film Festival” will be streaming from May 29 to June 7 on YouTube.