Virtual film festival to feature work from Cannes, Venice

New York (AFP) –


The globe's top film festivals including Cannes, Venice, Toronto and Berlin will participate in a free 10-day virtual cinema program starting next month, New York's Tribeca festival announced Monday.

YouTube will host screenings for "We Are One: A Global Film Festival" beginning May 29 and including feature films, shorts, documentaries and round tables.

The festival will benefit the World Health Organization, and encourage viewers to donate to COVID-19 relief efforts, organizers said.

They have not yet announced a precise program for the digital event.

Earlier this month organizers of Cannes, the premier festival held each year on the French Riviera, indicated that glittering event would be difficult to put on "in original form" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Initially planned for May 12-23, the festival was postponed to late June, but the French government then banned all large festivals until mid-July at the earliest in a bid to stem the outbreak.

The highly contagious and potentially fatal novel coronavirus has stalled cultural events worldwide, shuttering theaters and museums and forcing the cancellation of spring programming as much of the globe's population is urged to stay home.

"We often talk about film's uniquely powerful role in inspiring and uniting people across borders and differences to help heal the world," said Tribeca festival CEO Jane Rosenthal in a statement.

"All of the world needs healing right now."