Indian line-up for ‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’ unveiled

A still from  Prateek Vats’ 'Eeb Allay Ooo!'

A still from Prateek Vats’ 'Eeb Allay Ooo!'

Two of the best contemporary independent films from India — Prateek Vats’ Eeb Allay Ooo! (Hindi) and Arun Karthick’s Nasir (Tamil) — have been chosen to represent the country in the first edition of the prestigious ‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’. The Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival unveiled the India line-up on Tuesday.

Besides the two feature films, there are two shorts on the menu — Shaan Vyas’ Natkhat and Atul Mongia’s Awake . All four films have been made by first and second-time directors. Jio MAMI is the only film festival from India that has been invited for this unique online initiative, which brings together 21 of the world’s leading film festivals.

Many of the titles will have significant debuts at the festival. As a truly global festival, programming will represent over 35 countries and include 23 narrative and eight documentary features, 57 narrative and 15 documentary short films, 15 archived talks along with four festival exclusives and five VR programming pieces. In total, there will be 13 world premieres, 31 online premieres, and five international online premieres.

May 29 - June 7

Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube, the organisers and producers of the 10-day digital festival, announced the larger programming slate, which will feature over 100 films co-curated by the partner festivals, in addition to talks, VR content and musical performances. The collaborating festivals, besides Jio MAMI, include the Berlin International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, New York Film Festival, Sundance Institute, Toronto International Film Festival, and Venice Film Festival among others.

We Are One will run exclusively on YouTube from May 29 to June 7 at YouTube.com/WeAreOne.

Sessions will bring filmmaking luminaries together — Francis Ford Coppola with Steven Soderbergh, Song Kang-ho with Bong Joon-ho, and talks by Guillermo del Toro, Jane Campion and Claire Denis.

The digital event will celebrate global voices, elevate films that have the power to create change, and bring audiences from around the world together to create meaningful connections. It will assemble some of the world’s most talented artists, storytellers and curators around a central effort to provide entertainment and offer relief in the form of supporting organisations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Hand-picked selections

It will give audiences an opportunity to experience different cultures through artistic lens. Each official selection has been hand-picked for inclusion to highlight the singularities of each participating festival, while also providing a voice to filmmakers on a global stage.

“The We Are One initiative by Tribeca Enterprises is a humble and sincere attempt to bring about some relief to audiences across continents. We at MAMI are deeply pained to see the devastation around us and feel honoured to stand with our global community in this time of monumental crisis,” said Deepika Padukone, chairperson, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, actor and producer.

“It feels great to be on the same platform as some of the best film festivals across the world. A pandemic has brought us together. We stand in solidarity today and I hope this spirit of creating together stays for years after we have survived this difficult time,” said Zoya Akhtar (member, Board of Trustees, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, and filmmaker).

‘With stronger resolve’

“The festival was created by some of the finest filmmakers in India — Shyam Benegal, Ramesh Sippy and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. The idea was for film professionals to create a film festival and to bring the best of Indian cinema and world cinema for film lovers in Mumbai. That continues to be our driving force, it continues to be our catalyst. Being invited to be part of We Are One has only made our resolve stronger,” said Anupama Chopra, festival director, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival).

Eeb Allay Ooo! , Natkhat , Nasir , and Awake , represent urgent, relevant and diverse aspects of India and the world. The apathy towards the migrant workers, the mindless devastation of communal violence, deep-rooted patriarchy, and ideas of love and possession, will find resonance across continents. The challenge and responsibility for us always is to consistently push the different film cultures that co-exist in India and bring to the surface new and exciting voices. We Are One is a milestone endeavour for us to stand in solidarity with the global film community and an incredible opportunity and platform to put some of our best new cinematic voices out in the world,” said Smriti Kiran, artistic director, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, and curator of the India package.

‘Combined efforts’

“We are so excited to share the combined efforts of our festival partners and YouTube with the world this week,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal. “Together, we were able to curate a compelling slate of programming that succinctly reflects the subtle variations in style that make each festival so special. We Are One: A Global Film Festival will offer audiences an opportunity to not only celebrate the art of film, but the unique qualities that make each story we watch so memorable.”

“One of the beautiful things about films and other visual content is the ability to tell stories and bring people together, no matter where they live or where they’re from. This is a phenomenon we’ve seen at YouTube throughout the years but especially today, as people look to connect and be entertained,” said Robert Kyncl, chief business officer, YouTube. “The programming coordinated by Tribeca Enterprises for We Are One: A Global Film Festival has that magical ability to transport viewers from all around the world to a special moment in time through the unique lens that our esteemed festival partners bring.”

COVID-19 relief

We Are One: A Global Film Festival will seek to bring artists, creators and curators together around an international event that celebrates the exquisite art of storytelling. In doing so, it will aim to provide not only solace and entertainment for audiences during a time when it’s needed most, but also opportunities for these individuals to give back through donations to the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNHCR, Save the Children, Doctors Without Borders, Leket Israel, GO Foundation and Give2Asia, among others. Audiences will be able to donate to COVID-19 relief efforts through a donate button or link on every film page.

The full festival schedule is available at www.weareoneglobalfestival.com.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 9:08:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/india-line-up-for-we-are-one-a-global-film-festival-unveiled/article31681279.ece