Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 4 July 2020

'We Are One': the movies and talks to stream during the free 10-day online festival

Curated by 21 international film festivals, the programme includes screenings of award-winning films and talks by acclaimed directors

Amreeka. Courtesy Image Nation Abu Dhabi.
Amreeka. Courtesy Image Nation Abu Dhabi.

Although film festivals around the world have had to either postpone or move their programmes online due to the coronavirus pandemic, this week, film lovers will be able to attend a global film event. We Are One: A Global Film Festival kicks off on Friday, May 29 with a diverse line-up of screenings and talks curated by 21 international festivals.

The 10-day event, hosted by Tribeca Enterprises in partnership with YouTube, brings together the collaboration of some of the world's top festivals, such as Cannes, Sundance, Venice, Toronto, Berlin, Tribeca, and several others for an event that features award-winning films to stream for free.

The international programme includes mostly screenings and talks from previous festivals, in addition to a few new titles such as the world premiere of Iron Hammer, a documentary by Joan Chen about Chinese Olympic volleyball star Jenny Lang Ping.

Feature Highlights

Features to not miss from the festival include Cherien Dabis's Amreeka. The film, which won the Fipresci award at Cannes in 2009, tells the story of a Palestinian single mum who immigrates to Illinois with her teenage son, and the challenges this small family faces while in America.

From India, Prateek Vats's satirical drama Eeb Allay Ooo follows the story of a young migrant who is hired to shoo away rampaging monkeys from New Delhi government buildings. The film, which was internationally well-received, screened at the Mumbai Film Festival last year and most recently in Berlin’s Panorama section.

David R Romay's Beyond The Mountain from Mexico tells a heartbreaking story about a young typist who has to confront a suppressed past when he finds his mother laying dead with a letter addressed to his father who had abandoned them.

Documentary Highlights

In the documentary section, films to screen include Josh Swade's Ricky Powell: The Individualist, a biopic about the famous photographer who captured some of the wildest moments in New York fashion, music and art.

Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records, is a 2018 documentary tells the story of Trojan Records, one of the most famous music labels, taking viewers to the musical multicultural revolution that happened in the late 1960s and 1970s Britain.

The Epic of Everest is a film restoration by the BFI National Archive. Filmed in brutally harsh conditions with a hand-cranked camera, Captain John Noel captures the Everest expedition of 1924 with a breathtaking beauty.

Shorts and VR

The short-film line-up includes dozens of movies including animation, documentary and fiction. The programme includes Mati Diop's Atlantics, which tells the story of a young boy's tragic migratory journey. The film was a precursor to her award-winning feature film, of the same name, which was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2019 and made Diop the first black women to direct a film featured in competition at the festival.

Other shorts include two animated films from DreamWorks Animation Studios called Bilby, a heartwarming short about a lonely bilby tangled up with a helpless baby bird in the Australian desert. The other short, Bird Karma, tells the story of a bird who chases a fish through a foggy pond.

The festival's VR section features Emmy-nominated documentary Traveling While Black, a film that is based on a series of dialogues that confront the conversation about race in America. This 360-degree piece immerses the viewer in the long history of restricted movement for black Americans.

Curated Talks

A number of talks will also be streamed such as the Marrakech International Film Festival's 2018 recorded talk with award-winning director Guillermo del Toro, Locarno Film Festival's conversation with South Korean actor Song Kang-ho and director Bong Joon-ho of the award-winning film Parasite, Berlin International Film Festival's conversation with award-winning filmmakers Ang Lee and Kore-eda Hirokazu, and the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival's Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Soderbergh's conversation.

We Are One festival will run exclusively on YouTube from Friday, May 29 until Saturday, June 7. You can view the festival's full schedule here.

Updated: May 28, 2020 12:53 PM

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