A man is seen as a silhouette as he checks a mobile device whilst standing against an illuminated wall bearing YouTube Inc.s logo in this arranged photograph in
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New Delhi: With all major cultural and sporting events getting cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, YouTube has collaborated with 20 partners for a 10-day digital film festival from 29 May to 7 June.

Called ‘We are One: A Global Film Festival’, some of YouTube’s partners include the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and Venice Film Festival. It also includes the Mumbai Film Festival, organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI).

People can view the digital event on youtube.com/weareone and it will have both feature and short films, documentaries, as well as panel discussions, all free of cost and without any ads.

The festival, however, will accept donations from viewers in order to raise funds for the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund and beyond. The schedule and line up of films to be screened for the festival will be shared in a few weeks.

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2020 film festival circuit

The 10-day streaming event is not meant to be a replacement for the international festivals. Organisers hope to salvage what they can of the 2020 film festival circuit through the streaming event, even as most festivals are still gearing up for the possibility of a hybrid physical-digital programme later in the year.

Both the Tribeca Film Festival, co-founded by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal in New York, and Cannes Film Festival have announced postponement of their events due to lockdown concerns. Representatives of both festivals have said that they were happy to partner with the digital festival.

“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,” said Rosenthal in a statement.

The YouTube festival comes after Amazon announced its own festival called ‘SXSW Virtual Festival’ that kicked off this week. The Amazon festival will launch 39 films from 27 April through 6 May.

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