On Sunday, Tribeca Enterprises in partnership with YouTube wrapped the first ever We Are One: A Global Film Festival. The unprecedented 10-day digital film festival, which aired exclusively on YouTube, assembled and celebrated some of the world’s most talented artists and storytellers to present and elevate films that have the power to create change, as well as to forge meaningful connections with a global audience.
We Are One: A Global Festival saw an estimated 1.6M unique visitors during the duration of the festival (May 29 – June 7) with the top 10 country views coming from Japan, India, US, UK, Germany, France, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. From a poll taken on the YouTube community tab, 77% of respondents reported they had never been to a film festival in real life. Fan favorites from the festival included a musical performance by Arashi, RIFF’s Crazy World and Eeb Allay Ooo!. Alternatively, the most comments were posted for Arashi and Bilby while Eeb Allay Ooo! received the most likes.
The festival featured over 100 films co-curated by 21 prolific festivals and hailing from 35 different countries, in addition to talks, VR content and musical performances. It was created to not only provide entertainment, but to also offer relief in the form of supporting organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the World Health Organization.
Highlights from film presentations and episodic programming include: the online premiere of Ricky Powell: The Individualist, a documentary about legendary street photographer Powell featuring interviews with Natasha Lyonne and LL Cool J; a two part documentary series on the experiences of women of color running for office, And She Could Be Next; as well as the online premiere of Eeb Allay Ooo!, a unique satire about professional “monkey repellers” out of Mumbai. 360 VR selections featured the Emmy-nominated documentary Traveling While Black from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams, and Alteration, a sci-fi narrative starring Bill Skarsgard, as well as additional titles with notable talent including John Legend, Oprah Winfrey and Lupita Nyong’o.
We Are One: A Global Film Festival also hosted a number of specially-curated talks, both brand new and archived from past festivals, that offered viewers thought provoking discussions, master classes and opportunities to revisit pivotal moments in film from a variety of renowned filmmakers and artists. Featured panelists include Francis Ford Coppola with Steven Soderbergh, Song Kang-ho and Bong Joon-ho, Guillermo del Toro, Jackie Chan and Tessa Thompson with Jane Campion. One of the final talks in the series came from David Cronenberg about his film Crash, a highly controversial title made nearly 25-years ago and selected by actor Viggo Mortensen for a special screening at the Toronto Film Festival. Their discussion touched on a number of gripping topics, including the brilliance that lies in showing a specific way of life without moralizing it, as well as what elements in acting are vital to exploring the human condition in art.
In response to the current situation unfolding across the country regarding racial injustice and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, We Are One: A Global Film Festival wrapped the 10-day festival run with Copwatch, the true story of We Copwatch, an organization that films police activity as a non-violent form of protest and deterrent to police brutality. There was also a live DJ performance by multi-faceted, Grammy award-winning musical artist Questlove – closing the festival in style.
“It’s important to support artists,” said Tribeca Enterprises CEO Jane Rosenthal. “Artists always reflect what’s going on in our society. They bring us together through poetry as well as storytelling, and festivals help bring this to life in the best way possible. They reflect our culture and where would society be without knowing our individual cultures….that’s why at the end of the day we are one.”