MAJOR FALL FILM FESTIVALS COMMIT TO COOPERATE, NOT COMPETE, AMID PANDEMIC

"The art form we love is in crisis," a joint statement from the Toronto, New York, Telluride and Venice festivals reads.

“The art form we love is in crisis,” a joint statement from the Toronto, New York, Telluride and Venice festivals reads.

The Toronto, New York, Telluride and Venice film festivals, knocked sideways in their planning by the coronavirus pandemic, have unveiled a joint statement that commits the longtime rivals to cooperate and not compete for film titles and awards-season bragging rights in the fall.

“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,” the statement of solidarity reads as it signals a pandemic-era truce.

The joint declaration, while short on details on how their cross-festival alliance will evolve, is signed by Toronto co-heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente, Venice director Alberto Barbera, New York director Eugene Hernandez and Telluride executive director Julie Huntsinger and co-founder Tom Luddy. Each of the rival festivals for six weeks each fall compete to premiere Hollywood and indie film titles as they serve as launch pads for fall studio and streamer movies and Oscar contenders.

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