Bringing the world closer together through film, the festival’s response
Monday at 8:19 pm
As a result of the global pandemic, online film festivals are now in bloom. Austin’s SXSW has launched an event with Amazon which shares 35 select films for free (now through May 6th). We Are One: A Global Film Festival partnership between YouTube and 20 international film festivals––among them Berlin, Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, and Venice––will be bringing curated selections to the streaming platform from May 29 – June 7 for free. Not to be outdone, emerging festivals like Orange Leaf’s Films in Isolation will also stream for free on the platform throughout the month of May.
This time of global social distancing is providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience normally exclusive international cinematic art––thoughtfully curated by festival programmers––from the comfort of our homes. In much the same way that festivals like Tribeca and Sundance were founded from a strong desire to support and engage the communities in which they reside, this season’s festivals responses to the pandemic is no different.
This time of social distancing is simultaneously a time of reflection and support, prompting compassion and tolerance, and an opportunity to acknowledge the absurd. While many festivals will be sharing selections that were in the pipeline before the pandemic began, a few festivals like Orange Leaf’s Films in Isolation (Fii), have curated a special collection of films that represent perspectives on isolation –– both before and during the pandemic. Fii samples perspectives from across the globe while quietly encouraging us to listen to each other’s voices; it permits us a journey into fragile spaces, and thoughtfully grants the US audience the opportunity to experience a couple of selections without the brace of subtitles. This journey through film shares a few minutes in the life of the other, the struggles of the other, the challenges of the other; leaving us feeling not so distant from each other.