World film festival aims to bridge the distances between coronaviruses

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LOS ANGELES – The Cannes Film Festival has been canceled and the September jamborees in Venice and Toronto are uncertain, but this week film buffs are offered a film festival experience in the comfort of their own homes.

The 10-day “We Are One: A Global Film Festival”, which begins Friday on YouTube, will feature new and classic films, discussions with directors and music and comedies organized by 21 festivals, including those in Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Toronto and New York.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancellation of several cultural events where independent films are first launched.

“We Are One” will broadcast over 100 films representing 35 nations. Program includes world premiere of documentary “Iron Hammer” on former Chinese Olympic volleyball star “Jenny” Lang Ping, interviews with directors Bong Joon Ho and Guillermo del Toro, and a meeting of the cast’s 20th anniversary from “Almost Famous”.

“You will see a premiere of the film and during this premiere, the filmmakers will come out and present it. There will be a discussion afterwards, “said Jane Rosenthal, who hosted the global event.

Rosenthal said she wanted to not only celebrate the film, but also reach people who had never attended a film festival.

She said the idea came from the Tribeca film festival, which Rosenthal and actor Robert De Niro launched in 2002 to reinvigorate lower Manhattan after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.

“We are all basically in the same place, except that (the coronavirus) is even more difficult. We cannot physically come together. So I started to think about how to bring the world together when needed, “she said.

While the festival will be broadcast free of charge, viewers will be invited to donate to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. (Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Tom Brown)

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