Fall film festivals vow to collaborate, not compete, amid COVID-19 challenges

TIFF, Telluride, Venice and New York said they have "moved away from competing" and instead are committing to collaboration.
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The Toronto International Film Festival today (July 8) released a letter of solidarity with the New York Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival and Venice Film Festival, with each organization committing to cooperation, information sharing and mutual support in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

Film festivals around the world have endured “financial challenges” since the onset of the pandemic, as many moved online amid restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus.

Because of those challenges, TIFF said the group of fall-set festivals have “moved away from competing” and instead are committing to collaboration.

“The art form we love is in crisis,”¬†TIFF’s statement reads. “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.”

Photo courtesy TIFF/ Connie Tsang