Movies & Television

YouTube Film Festival: What to Watch

May 29 marks the kick-off for the We Are One: A Global Film Festival. It is a YouTube film festival to celebrate films and to raise funds for COVID-19 efforts. 21 film festivals will be participating in this project, including the Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and Tribeca Film Festival. From May 29 to June 7, over a hundred films will be available to stream for free here.

This week, each participating film festival has released its line up of films to be shown. With a variety of films being featured such as documentaries, features, short films, and VR pieces, we picked some of the best films you should not miss!

Dantza (San Sebastian International Film Festival)

Premieres on June 4, 12:15 pm EST


Dantza is a 2018 musical feature film from Spain that won the Global in Progress Award during the 2017 San Sebastian Film Festival. The film talks about the cycle of life and death, and the development of society. Moreover, the film uses symbolisms, music, and the traditional Basque dance as a method of storytelling.

Ice Cream and the Sound of Raindrops (Tokyo International Film Festival)

Premieres on June 4, 3:30 pm EST


Another feature film in the YouTube Film Festival is Ice Cream and the Sound of Raindrops. It was featured during the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival, as well as the Jeonju International Film Festival. In a 74-minute single take, the film follows the story of a theater troupe who continues rehearsing for a play that has been cancelled. This leads the actors to blurring the lines between their roles and their real selves.

Iron Hammer (We Are One: A Global Film Festival)

Premieres on June 7, 4:30 pm EST


Iron Hammer is a documentary feature on Lang Ping, a volleyball icon and Olympic Champion. Nicknamed as the “Iron Hammer,” she has led the Chinese National Team to victory four consecutive times ever since she joined in 1978. Furthermore, she was also the coach for the US National Team in 2005, and the Chinese National Team in 2013. Both teams were able to triumph in the Olympic Games with Lang Ping as the coach. Presented by the Olympic Channel, Iron Hammer is one of the YouTube films to make its debut on We Are One: A Global Film Festival.

The Epic of Everest (BFI London Film Festival)

Premieres on June 4, 5:00 pm EST


The Epic of Everest is a 1924 film which the BFI National Archive restored back in 2013. It is a documentary of the legendary 1924 Mt. Everest Expedition where George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, two fine mountain climbers, disappeared. The film, taken by Captain John Noel, captures the beauty of Everest, the journey of the two climbers, and even a rare look at the life of Tibetans back then.

The One-Minute Memoir (Annecy International Animation Film Festival)

Premieres on May 31, 3:00 pm EST

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The One-Minute Memoir is a 16-minute short film that features 11 unique stories from 11 different filmmakers. Academy Award-winning animator Joan Gratz created this short film by only telling the filmmakers the prompt: one-minute memoir; and let them figure out the rest. The stories the filmmakers did were extremely different from each other and seemed to mirror each person’s style.

Atlantiques (New York Film Festival)

Premieres on June 7, 11:55 am EST

Image Credit: Mubi

Atlantiques was the 2009 experimental short film that led Mati Diop to creating Atlantics – her feature film that got her to compete for the Palme D’Or Award in the Cannes Film Festival last year. The 16-minute film shows the a group of Senegalese men recollecting their experiences of their dangerous journeys to Europe to find better work; and whether that work is worth the risk or not. The short film became the prelude to her critically-acclaimed Atlantics. 

Tribeca Talks: Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Soderbergh (Tribeca Film Festival)

Premieres on June 2, 6:15 pm EST

Image Credit: We Are One: A Global Film Festival

Panel discussions are part of the lineup of the YouTube Film Festival. One discussion you need to keep an eye out on is the one with Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Soderbergh during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. In honor of Apocalypse Now‘s 40th anniversary, An Apocalypse Now: Final Cut was released during the festival. After the screening, Coppola and Soderbergh discuss the process of restoring the final cut and why they decided to release it now – 40 years after Apocalypse Now.

Locarno 2019 Excellence Award Conversation (Locarno Film Festival)

Premieres on June 3, 4:45 pm EST

Image Credit: We Are One: A Global Film Festival

Another panel discussion you can look forward to in this film festival is the Locarno 2019 Excellence Award Conversation. It is a conversation between director, Bong Joon-ho, and South Korean actor, Song Kang-ho. During the Locarno Film Festival, Song Kang-ho was able to receive the Excellence Award – the first Asian to receive it. For Parasite fans, and fans of the actor and director in general, this discussion will be a delight. Not only will they be talking about Parasite, but also their numerous collaborations in the past as well.

You might also enjoy:

Top 5 Grossing Animated Films Of All Time

The 50 Best Films To Watch While In Self-Isolation

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