The fall film festivals of Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York have all agreed to join forces during this very strange year of 2020 and offer “United Platform” which organizers believe will better service filmmakers, audiences, journalists and industry professionals.
Venice is meant to take place Sept. 2-12, TIFF begins on Sept. 10 and runs through Sept. 20, and NYFF takes place between Sept. 27 to Oct. 13. Telluride has not announced dates for its 2020 edition.
All four festivals occur within a two months one another. Each is considered a gateway to the Academy Awards, which was pushed to April 25, 2021.
The group issued a joint statement Wednesday, stating they are moving away “from competing with our colleagues at autumn festivals and commit instead to collaboration.” The organizers add, “As we work through challenging circumstances this summer to prepare our festivals, we will work together, in support of film.”
During this year of COVID-19, BLM and whatever else you can throw in, almost every major festival has either announced a change to go virtual as OutFest is doing or just canceling altogether as COLCOA French Film Festival just announced.
Read the full statement below:
This year, we saw the COVID-19 pandemic devastate communities all over the world, and bring life as we knew it to a halt. As supporters of global cinema, we watched as the work of film artists stopped in its tracks, and the culture of film itself was challenged. Films come alive with audiences, who could no longer gather in the ways we had for over a century.
The art form we love is in crisis. Our own organizations have seen unprecedented challenges to our work and our financial security. The pandemic caught each of us as we were preparing for the biggest event of our year in the fall of 2020. We knew we had to adapt. We decided to collaborate as we never have before.
Venice is the origin story for every film festival in the world. Telluride is one of the world’s most influential festivals. Toronto is home to the world’s largest public film festival. And the New York Film Festival curates for one of the world’s most storied, sophisticated film cities. Our four festivals share a love of cinema and a devotion to filmmakers. We also share a short span of six weeks each autumn.
This year, we’ve moved away from competing with our colleagues at autumn festivals and commit instead to collaboration. We are sharing ideas and information. We are offering our festivals as a united platform for the best cinema we can find. We’re here to serve the filmmakers, audiences, journalists and industry members who keep the film ecosystem thriving. We need to do that together.
We believe cinema has a unique power to illuminate both the world around us, and our innermost perceptions. In a crisis, films can transport us. They can enchant, inform, provoke and heal. As we work through challenging circumstances this summer to prepare our festivals, we will work together, in support of film.
Cameron Bailey, Toronto International Film Festival
Alberto Barbera, Venice Film Festival
Eugene Hernandez, New York Film Festival
Julie Huntsinger, Telluride Film Festival
Tom Luddy, Telluride Film Festival
Joana Vicente, Toronto International Film Festival
It’s not clear how or when the festivals will team up. Venice and TIFF have already announced their film lineups will be reduced to 50 films.