PHOTO: The film “Bilby” has the Australian Bilby pictured on the right as its main character.
By Charissa Zeigler,
Multiple canceled film festivals, previously scheduled in the spring, have united in an effort called “We Are One: A Global Film Festival” to showcase their films from May 29 through June 7 on YouTube.
Included among the festivals are household names such as Cannes, Sundance and Tribeca, as well as slightly lesser known festivals spanning cities across the globe such as Mumbai, Guadelajara, London, Toronta, Macao, Marraketch, Tokyo and Jerusalem.
Each day of the We Are One film festival, new films are released. Films released on the first day are available until the end of the film festival. Some films are premiering for the first time while others are re-released.
Short films such as the endearing DreamWorks animation “Bilby,” which chronicles the friendship between an Australian bilby and a puff creature of mysterious origin, are featured alongside full-length films such as “Eeb Allay Ooo,” which tells the story of a man who’s job is to repel monkeys.
Junior Andrew Yin has been following the We Are One festival and tuned in on the lighthearted animations which included the film “Bilby.”
“It was kinda like a slapstick cartoon, sort of reminded me of Pink Panther or Tom and Jerry […] very easy to watch and enjoy,” Yin said.
The festival will release more than a hundred and fifty videos including panels, shorts, feature films and 360 VR experiences of all genres. Many are focused on relevant social issues from increasing oppression of Muslims in India, LBTQ rights, class stratification and the experience of black people in America.
The unrest exploding in American cities after police brutality led to the death of George Floyd has highlighted the importance of the 360 VR film, “Traveling While Black,” which narrates the historical restrictions on the movement of African American travelers.
Junior Alex Gao watched the 360 VR film ‘Passenger.
“I felt it was extremely successful in building a very ominous, strange feeling to convey its message about making a home in a foreign land […] the vibe they create is really cool,” Gao said.
Critically acclaimed directors, such as Guillermo del Toro known for “Pan’s Labyrinth,” Bong Joong-Ho for “Parasite,” Ang Lee for “Brokeback Mountain” and Steven Soderbergh for “Ocean’s Eleven,” appear to host panels for the aspiring artists or the mildly intrigued moviegoer. Celebrity actor Jackie Chan is featured alongside “Parasite” rising star Park So-Dam.
The work of musicians is also documented in short films, a film about a young spoken word artist and her rap artist friend– both from Oakland– are grouped with another film which focuses on the bombastic personality of “Third Eye Blind’s” aging frontman who freewheels between a declaration of dedications to his art and recollections of his 1990’s indie hit “Motorcycle Drive By.”
The organizers of the We Are One festival have placed donation panels to the right of the video where viewers can choose to donate toward UNICEF, Save the Children and Doctors Without Borders, among others. All proceeds from people watching the videos go to COVID-19 relief efforts.