As is so frequently stated these days: “We’re all in this together.” Well, being in the entertainment industry, actors, producers, directors, and crew members alike are suddenly finding themselves in the challenging position of needing to meet social distancing standards in a business that is expressly centered on people gathering together. 

While difficult, it’s not impossible thanks to today’s technological advancements. Here are a few ways that productions and film festivals are adapting to the new strictures.

American Idol

The popular televised singing competition American Idol had to adopt a new format this season to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Currently in its Top 20 phase, the contestants were sent home. Last Sunday’s episode was the first reality competition show to be aired since Hollywood paused all productions due to the coronavirus. A press release stated: “#AmericanIdol continues to wish everyone health and safety. For the first time in competition show history, #AmericanIdol has broadcasted a full remote episode from over 40 locations, with all contestant performances shot on iPhones.” The performances are not live, but rather they’re produced “live to tape,” allowing the show’s producers to make edits before the broadcast.

YouTube to host the free 10-day virtual film festival We Are One

This spring, 20 film festivals will collectively show their films on YouTube. The online video-sharing platform will launch the digital film festival over the course of 10 days, free of charge to the public. That is to say, if you’ve always wanted to attend prestigious film festivals but were unable to do so, this is your chance. You can view the selections from fests like Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and Venice Film Festival—right from the convenience of your home. All you have to do is visit youtube.com/weareone anytime between May 29 and June 7, 2020 to access the programming. As an added bonus, no advertisements will interrupt your viewing. 

The online festival will include feature films, documentaries, shorts, comedy, music, as well as panel discussions from the 20 partners under the name We Are One: A Global Film Festival. New York’s Tribeca Film Festival is producing the We Are One event. A complete schedule of the fest selections will be made available in the upcoming weeks.

Donations to provide COVID-19 relief will be requested of viewers. Tribeca and YouTube said the money will go to the World Health Organization as well as other local organizations across the globe.

“We Are One: A Global Film Festival unites curators, artists and storytellers to entertain and provide relief to audiences worldwide,” said Jane Rosenthal, head of Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival. “In working with our extraordinary festival partners and YouTube we hope that everyone gets a taste of what makes each festival so unique and appreciates the art and power of film.”

It should be noted, however, that the virtual film festival will not stop individual film festivals from also organizing in-person festivals in some shape or form. For example, Toronto International Film Festival is planning for the possibility of a hybrid physical-digital program in September as they seek to balance people’s desires to experience film communally while also promoting safety.

Here is the full list of the 20 fests partnering with We Are One:

Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival, International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), Jerusalem Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Marrakech International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and Venice Film Festival.

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