We Are One: A Global Film Festival Provides a Sense of Relief During COVID-19


We Are One: A Global Film Festival attempts to unite movie-goers that can’t go to the movies right now. (Photo by Donald Tong | Courtesy Pexels)

By Gabrielle Klinge, Arts Writer


YouTube will be hosting a 10-day film festival starting May 29, titled “We Are One: A Global Film Festival.” This festival is put together by Tribeca Enterprises and will include content from 20 various film festivals around the globe. The Cannes, Berlin International, BFI London and Sundance film festivals are just a few of the events that will be featured in We Are One. 

The philosophy behind We Are One is to provide movie makers with the opportunity to present their films to the public, especially in the midst of COVID-19.

Due to the novel coronavirus, many prominent film festivals have been canceled — dashing the hopes of both the viewers and the filmmakers. We Are One, however, will act as a remedy to these canceled plans by presenting programming from each individual festival and will be doing so free of charge. Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the Tribeca film festival in New York, gave insight to the reasoning behind We Are One when she told The Guardian in April that “all of the world needs healing right now.”

Our world is constantly attempting to find ways to connect and unite in spite of our differences, and there’s no better time to do so than during the COVID-19 pandemic. In their April 27, 2020, press release, Tribeca Enterprises explained the unifying element of film festivals, “Core to the DNA of film festivals is the belief that artists and creators have the power to bring people together and create meaningful connections during a time when the world needs it most.”

Even though COVID-19 has come to be the harbinger of disappointment and bad news, it has also brought unprecedented opportunities for the world to come together. Robert Kyncl, the Chief Business Officer of YouTube expanded on this topic, “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.”

Given that We Are One is a result of COVID-19, any donations that it receives will go to the World Health Organization. The Guardian said that “while the festival will stream for free, viewers will be asked to donate to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 solidarity response fund.”

Film festivals not only present a glimpse into the fascinating cultures around the globe but point out the commonalities that we might share. The title of this film festival in particular, “We Are One,” says it all — we are all a part of the human race, even in the wake of a pandemic. When we look back at our time in quarantine, the similarities we share might stand out more because we all went through this time together. We Are One is just one event that will remind us of that.


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