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You, in your bedroom, with your laptop. That’s not the future of film festivals | Peter Bradshaw

In the wake of Covid-19, We Are One: A Global Film Festival is taking the experience online. But cinema is a bigger encounter

Every year, at Cannes (and other festivals) there’s a plaintive argument about what Cannes (or other festivals) are really all “about”. Some Savonarola-type person will dash the glass of rosé out of your hand, throw your canape into the Med and tell you Cannes is not about red-carpet narcissism, not about stars preening in the flashbulb glare of celeb-worship, not about L’Oréal sponsorship, not about getting drunk at a million late-night parties. It’s about the movies, about cinema itself.

Of course. And that’s what the new Covid-19-related We Are One: A Global Film Festival appears to offer: the 10-day online festival, beginning 29 May, curated by Jane Rosenthal of the Tribeca film festival, featuring arthouse films (though not the big-ticket Hollywood items) from Cannes, Venice, Berlin and many more, streaming for free in return for an optional donation to the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 fund. So there you have it. A festival with all the frills and extras and flummeries stripped away. Just you, in your bedroom, with your laptop, communing with cinema. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

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