Major international film festivals — including Cannes, Tribeca and Sundance — are participating in the online event

By Benjamin VanHoose
April 28, 2020 12:58 PM
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YouTube is delivering the film festival experience to fans at home — for free!

On Monday, the streaming platform announced plans for We Are One: A Global Film Festival, which sees more than 20 international festivals joining forces to compile a 10-day lineup of movies. The festivals taking part include the Cannes Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and Venice Film Festival.

The virtual event — set to stream from May 29 to June 7 — will have a charitable component amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, asking viewers to donate to the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

"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,” said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Film Festival, whose Tribeca Enterprises is producing the event.

“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," added Rosenthal.

Movies set to be screened as part of the We Are One event have not yet been revealed. The slate will include feature films, shorts, documentaries, music, comedy and conversations.

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"One of the most unique and inspiring aspects of the world staying home is our ability to come together and experience an event as one, and We Are One: A Global Film Festival is just that," said Robert Kyncl, chief business officer of YouTube, said in a statement. "... It's an event that's never been done before and we're proud to be the home for this fantastic content that is free to fans around the world."

The online film festival alternative comes as the major industry gatherings are forced to either cancel or postpone their 2020 schedules due to the pandemic.

Pierre Lescure, president of the Cannes Film Festival — which, last month, called off its May festival in France — said he is "proud" to participate in the socially distanced YouTube event.

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“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,” said Lescure in a statement.

YouTube — which recently marked the 15th anniversary of its first-ever video upload — has become the home of various virtual entertainment endeavors since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, countless musicians, led by Lady Gaga, joined for a concert special titled One World: Together at Home, which streamed on the platform, while also being broadcast on television.

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