A lockdown is the perfect opportunity to catch up on good cinema that you have put off because of other engagements, and discover new films that you may have missed altogether. If times were normal, cinephiles could be found attending various film festivals to catch up on independent cinema.
However, as governments clamped down on public gatherings to control the spread of the novel coronavirus, many film festivals were cancelled or postponed indefinitely. In the spirit of the moment—and to raise funds for fighting the pandemic—more than 20 global film festivals have come together for We Are One, a virtual experience. These include the MAMI (Mumbai Film Festival), Tribeca Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival.
The festival will showcase feature length films, short films and a series of talks, all streamed via YouTube from May 29 to June 7. You can check out the schedule here.
Among the Indian entries, watch out for Vikramaditya Motwane’s Awake, Vidya Balan starrer The Brat, and Prateek Vats’ Eeb Allay Ooo, which has an interesting premise to say the least. The British Film Institute is also showcasing a recently restored version of Shiraz: A Romance of India, originally released in 1928.
Cinema geeks and aspiring film-makers can also catch talks by pioneering directors like Guillermo del Toro, Ang Lee, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Steven Soderbergh, Jane Campion, and Francis Ford Coppola, and acclaimed artists like Tessa Thompson and Marina Abramović.
Though viewers can stream all the films for free, they have an option to donate any sum of money to the festival, and all proceeds will be donated to COVID-19 relief funds.