YouTube To Host Virtual Film Festival To Support COVID-19 Relief

Tribeca Enterprises, the organization behind New York's Tribeca Film Festival, and YouTube announced on April 27 that it will host the We Are One: A Global Film Festival, a 10-day event that will feature films, shorts, and more from 20 film festivals around the world.

According to Variety, We Are One will be held from May 29 to June 7 at The event will include a charity drive to support the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and various other organizations.

The festival will feature content curated by over 20 international film festivals, many of which have been forced to cancel or postpone in-person events due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sundance, Tokyo International, Toronto, Cannes, and Tribeca are among the big names with featured films included in the online curation.

The programming will be free to watch and without ads. Alongside feature films and shorts, the event will include documentaries, music, comedy specials, and panel discussions.

"We Are One: A Global Film Festival unites curators, artists and storytellers to entertain and provide relief to audiences worldwide," said Jane Rosenthal, head of Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival. Rosenthal also mentioned that the partnership with the festivals and YouTube brings everyone a taste of what makes each festival great, and she expressed her hope in viewers appreciating the art and power of film.

The film festival circuit was already moving toward a digital footprint, including a big name missing from the "We Are One" list: South by Southwest (SXSW). SXSW, who announced their own virtual film festival streaming on Amazon Prime, will be streaming 39 shorts and features beginning this week, per a previous Variety report.

Variety explains We Are One is not meant to replace the film festivals as a whole. For example, Venice's film festival is slated to hold a physical event September 2 to September 12 and will launch with a "strong digital component."

"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," Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer of YouTube, said. Kyncl went on to say the festival is unique because it brings the best of all the global events to one platform. The fact that fans can experience what each event offers, bringing them films from different regions of the world without having to leave their home, is special.

"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," Kyncl stated.