Multiple Fests Announce 'We Are One: A Global Film Festival' in May
by Alex Billington
April 27, 2020
Big news! A conglomerate of the biggest & most prestigious film festivals all over the world has announced an online film festival beginning in May. It will be called the We Are One: A Global Film Festival and launches on May 29th running until June 7th. The unprecedented online event hosted by YouTube, and organized by Tribeca Enterprises, will feature new and classic films, masterclasses, and more offerings from all of the festivals. However, according to the press release, no new films from 2020 (that were supposed to premiere at any 2020 festivals that are now cancelled) will be screening. "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," stated Pierre Lescure, President of the Cannes Film Festival, & Thierry Frémaux, Cannes Film Festival General Delegate.
Considering we cover film festivals all year ever year here on FS, and since most are cancelled in 2020, we want to share this with all of you. The "We Are One: A Global Film Festival" is a one-of-a-kind joint venture designed to immerse "audiences in stories from around the world and [provide] a voice for filmmakers on a global stage." The official lineup of films, shorts, documentaries, music, comedy, and conversations will be released at a later date. It will feature programming curated by these international film festivals: Annecy, Berlinale, London, Cannes, Guadalajara, Macao, Jerusalem, Mumbai, Karlovy Vary, Locarno, Marrakech, New York, San Sebastian, Sarajevo, Sundance, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Tribeca, Venice, and more. All of the programming will be free for audiences to stream. Donations will benefit the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and local relief partners in various parts of the world. To read the full press release + more info, visit any of these festivals' websites or via Deadline.
This seems like the only real way for these film festivals to respond to the pandemic and cinema shutdown worldwide. They want to share films, and remind people to be excited about cinema, but they can't host the festivals the way they usually do. So why not do something online! It makes sense and seems to be a way to keep film lovers focused. "We Are One: A Global Film Festival unites curators, artists and storytellers to entertain and provide relief to audiences worldwide. 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." Hopefully they don't forget about returning to the in-person fest experience eventually.
My personal opinion is that I'm not that fond of online film festivals. The whole point of fests is to GO and be there to experience it together in person and converse before / after and discuss films and be immersed in the "festival experience" in each city and go to venues / cinemas. But I realize there's not much other choice nowadays. With everything shut down, everyone staying home, and no one able to travel, the festivals are scrambling to figure out how to offer something anyway. I'm sure I'm not the only one (introvert here) who isn't interested in Zoom meetings and Skype calls and chatting when I'd rather watch a film and talk about it over dinner (or in the queue for the next one). We all know that YouTube comments aren't… a very intellectual place. But I hope that this event, and other online fests, will keep everyone excited about cinema and film festivals with the hope that we will all return and celebrate cinema together sometime in the future.