The world’s biggest film festivals are joining up for a gala online event in an effort to beat the realities of Covid times.
Berlin, Cannes, Toronto and Venice , the four most prestigious film festivals have teamed up for ” We Are One: A Global Film Festival” to be hosted by YouTube from 29 May.
The global film industry has hit a huge speed breaker and is staring at huge losses following disruptions by the pandemic.
The 10-day digital film festival intends to raise funds they intend to donate to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Twenty festivals from around the world are involved in the event. They include BFI London Film Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival and Marrakech International Film Festival, as well as Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival.
Tribeca, co-founded by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal in New York, have joined up with Youtube to put up the online event after they were compelled to postpone this year’s festival.
Tribeca hope it “unites curators, artists and storytellers to entertain and provide relief to audiences worldwide”.
“We often talk about film’s uniquely powerful role in inspiring and uniting people across borders and differences to help heal the world,” said Rosenthal.
“All of the world needs healing right now.”
The free event will include films, shorts, documentaries, music, comedy, and conversations .,A complete schedule will be available nearer to the event due next month..
It seems nobody is expecting tany films to be scheduled for upcoming 2020 festivals for financial reasons and rights issues.
In March, the Cannes Film Festival was also postponed over lockdown concerns fuelled by the virus.
Cannes president Pierre Lescure, and general delegate Thierry Frémaux, said they were “proud” to be involved in the online festival instead.
“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.”
As it stands, potentially modified versions of the annual film festivals in Toronto, Venice and London are still due to go ahead in the autumn if the pandemic eases. Berlin Film Festival is the only one of the top ones to have already taken place this year in late February.
(Uddipana Goswami, a lecturer University in Pennsylvania University, is features editor of Easternlink)