Without a doubt, the film festival lineup for 2020 has taken a major hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Things got off to a strong start with Sundance and Berlin, but the pandemic quickly led to the cancellations of events such as SXSW, Tribeca, Cannes, and others, leading many to wonder if the fall festivals such as TIFF, Venice, and NYFF will actually happen. Well, regardless, a huge number of festivals are joining forces with YouTube for an event that will unite them all and allow for film fans all across the globe to enjoy festival-selected content.
According to EW, YouTube has announced the creation of We Are One: A Global Film Festival, an online-only event that will curate some of the feature films, shorts, documentaries, music, comedy, and conversations that would have occurred at the world’s various film events and put them online, free to view, for millions.
Festivals that are already confirmed as taking part include: Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Cannes, Guadalajara International Film Festival, International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), Jerusalem Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Marrakech International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, TIFF, Tribeca Film Festival, and Venice Film Festival.
Tribeca Film Festival co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal said, “We often talk about film’s uniquely powerful role in inspiring and uniting people across borders and differences to help heal the world. All of the world needs healing right now. 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.”
Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux, President and Festival Director, respectively, for the Cannes Film Festival added, “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.”
The big question is which films will decide to take part. Recently, SXSW and Amazon teamed up for an online “film festival,” with only 5% of the eligible feature films opting-in to be shown for free on the streaming service. There are many filmmakers that don’t enjoy the idea of giving their films away for free, especially when they’re seeking distribution deals. However, with the heavy-hitters such as Cannes, TIFF, Venice, and others involved, maybe this opportunity is too good to pass up?
The actual lineup of films and other content that will take part has yet to be announced. The event is scheduled to begin on May 29 and run until June 7.