There aren’t many film festivals that mix up new films, VR pieces, Q&As with filmmaking gods like Bong Joon-ho, Claire Denis and Francis Ford Coppola and a DJ set by Questlove – and offer it all up for free via YouTube. Props, then, to We Are One, a new digital-only film festival, for attempting to answer the question: ‘What does a film festival that no one can actually go to look like?’
The answer, judging by its newly announced line-up, is eclectic and thoughtful. There will be more than a hundred films – a mix of features and shorts – to pick from when the ten-day event kicks off on YouTube on Friday May 29. Alongside those of the organiser, Tribeca Film Festival, there are contributions from the BFI London Film Festival (LFF), Marrakech International Film Festival, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Venice, Toronto and Sundance – among many others.
On the slate is a digital premiere of ‘Ricky Powell: The Individualist’, a doc about the legendary New York City street photographer. Like dream guests, the LFF has rocked up to the party with a 1928 shiraz – specifically, epic silent film ‘Shiraz: A Romance of India’ – and ‘The Epic of Everest’, another newly restored and re-scored film from the 1920s. Also screening is 2018 London music doc, ‘Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records’.
Most interesting of all are the filmmaker chats from the festival archives. You can catch Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Soderbergh talking ‘Apocalypse Now’, Viggo Mortensen and David Cronenberg discussing the latter’s controversial drama ‘Crash’, and Ang Lee having a natter with Hirokazu Kore-eda.
‘In these challenging times, there are many people struggling and We Are One is an opportunity for us to come together through our love of film, art and music to reach out and support each other,’ said Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival director.
Tribeca Film Festival CEO Jane Rosenthal said, ‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival unites curators, artists and storytellers to entertain and provide relief to audiences worldwide.’
It’s all free, although money is being raised for the World Health Organisation, as well as local Covid-19 relief partners in each region. Head to the official site for more info.
We Are One: A Global Film Festival will run from Fri May 29-Sun Jun 7 on YouTube.
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