Covid-19 restrictions have thrown the global film festival circuit into disarray.

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Sydney Film Festival joins Cannes, Venice, Tribeca and more for free Youtube event

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The Sydney Film Festival is joining a host of international festivals in programming a free 10-day streaming event.

Billed as ‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’, the event runs from May 29 to June 7 and will include films, shorts, documentaries and conversation events, streaming for free on Youtube.

Many big players on the international film festival circuit are involved in programming, including Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto and New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, which has organised the event with Youtube.

Organisers said they will announce the program soon, although it’s unclear to what extent new release films will be streaming. Deadline has reported that Cannes is not submitting any movies, instead offering masterclasses to stream.

Screenings will be free, with an associated fundraising drive targeting the World Health Organisation (WHO) and local relief partners in each region.

The initiative comes as Covid-19 restrictions threw the 2020 international film festival circuit into disarray, forcing festivals to get creative in bringing films to audiences. America’s SXSW festival has partnered with Amazon Prime in streaming a collection of work due to screen this year. Meanwhile, closer to home, in a statement announcing the cancellation of its 2020 festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival said it was “considering other means of maintaining its engagement with audiences.”

Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley said, “Sydney Film Festival looks forward to presenting Australian cinema in this global arena, and to bring joy and entertainment to audiences in need of relief.”

‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’ runs from May 29 to June 7 on Youtube.

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