A new era for Film Festivals begins

For the first time, the Film industry could see the streaming services like an allied, instead of a competitor.

Led by Jane Rosenthal, director of the Tribeca Film Festival and YouTube, We Are One represents the first venture of film festivals in streaming and for free.

Although the transmission of content on-demand, via the Internet, has changed how content is consumed in different formats, the cinema and its festival circuits have little addressed this channel. Although, this global effort outlines a more digitized path for the industry.

“I think we are in a golden age of content and that made it possible for us to do something like that,” said Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer, in an interview.

The festival of festivals will be broadcast from May 29 to June 7 through YouTube for free and will have an agenda of 21 circuits, among which is the Guadalajara, Toronto, Sydney, Tribeca film festival, among others.

Kyncl explained that the poster will have everything from feature films to expert panels with the participation of figures such as Guillermo del Toro and Francis Ford Coppola.

“We will have 31 films, 72 short films, 15 virtual reality pieces; 16 talks, four pieces from YouTube creators, two television shows, and two musical performances. It is a round offer in 10 days, some of the panels include Guillermo del Toro, Steven Soderbergh, and Francis Ford Coppola, ”said Kyncl.

Although the event may be consumed free of charge for the public, which is collected from donations from those involved, it will go to international organizations to combat the current pandemic of COVID-19. Among the names of the beneficiaries stands out the World Health Organization (WHO).

Kyncl warns that this effort does not represent a business for YouTube, so the transmission will have no advertising guidelines for the public, nor commercial actions.

“We didn’t do this because of the plans we had. The festival was brought together by the relationship we have with Tribeca and the programs we have with YouTube Originals and the closeness with (Jane) Rosenthal from Tribeca, ”said the YouTube spokesperson, emphasizing that the festival was set up in a record time of five weeks.

“Normally these projects take a long time but none of that happened. We only saw the need not to waste a year with the creative community and this was one way of doing it. There was neither time nor appetite to make it commercial, if not to focus on raising money for the organizations and making it happen, “he added.

Tribeca, like many other film festivals, including Cannes, were postponed or canceled as a result of the health contingency caused by COVID-19.

Online festivals

The YouTube manager was emphatic in referring to this event as a more altruistic effort than a business one; however, in the future, this film festival format may represent an avenue for the digital and traditional industries to meet and achieve distributions with much greater reach.

“Today a filmmaker, for example from the Guadalajara Festival, which can be shown through Netflix or Amazon as part of the subscription, or can be launched on Google Play, iTunes, YouTube or other paid platforms. With Apple and Google alone, it reaches 2,000 million people transactionally; the power of this simplicity in distribution did not exist before, ”Kyncl explained.

As of 2019, the video streaming market totaled $ 42.6 billion, according to Grandview Research, and Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other platforms are expected to have successfully reversed the way people consume content today. short format, the consumption of original films for these platforms – although it is already done – it manages to gain a greater place in the distribution chain in the industry.

To date, due to Hollywood rules, for a production to be able to compete for an award, for example from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who award the Oscar, the film must first go through an exhibition circuit of theaters and strings before streaming; however, a greater push towards the digital sample may make this distribution process more flexible in the future.