More than 40 leading film festivals, and eight film industry organizations have called on global policy makers to support the sector that has been badly affected by COVID-19.

Festivals, including Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Venice, Busan and San Sebastian, and trade bodies like FIAPF (the International Federation of Film Producers Associations), FERA (the Federation of European Film Directors), FIAD (the International Federation of Film Distributors’ Associations) and UNIC (the International Union of Cinemas) have signed a joint paper highlighting festivals’ contributions to the cultural, economic and social development in the territories where they are established. Via the paper, the international film festivals community urge policy-makers for swift relief measures and a post-COVID-19 strategy to safeguard the film festivals’ ecosystem.

Berlin artistic director Carlo Chatrian and executive director Mariette Rissenbeek said: “The Berlinale is the platform for cultural and social discourse in Berlin, and a vital motor for the international independent industry. It is very important public debate can take place through film and we want to express the need for festivals to be able to continue their role in the future.”

Venice director Alberto Barbera said: “The global film industry has never been hit so badly in its entire history. On the eve of the reopening of theaters and restart of film shooting, it is more than necessary to join forces and make the maximum support possible. Festivals are a powerful tool at the service of cinema, culture and social development, but they have been weakened too and need to be reinforced to be able to continue their crucial and indispensable work.”

“Film festivals are an exceptional tool for crossing the communication channels from the most distant places, giving audiences the ability to hear a rich diversity of voices,” said Toronto co-heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente. “The economic impact the festival has on its host city is significant, creating jobs, bringing in tourists from all over the world, and stimulating employment in the service industries.”



Mar del Plata International Film Festival

Sydney Film Festival

Kitzbuehel Film Festival Viennale

Minsk International Film Festival – Listapad

Sofia International Film Festival

Toronto International Film Festival

Festival Internacional de Cine de Cartagena de Indias

Festival de Cine Global Dominicano

Cairo International Film Festival

Tallinn Black Nights International Film Festival

Tampere Film Festival

Festival de Cannes

Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival

International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

International Film Festival of India, Goa

International Film Festival of Kerala

Kolkata International Film Festival

Noir In Festival (Como, Milano)

Rome Film Fest

Torino Film Festival

Biennale Cinema – Venice Film Festival

Tokyo International Film Festival

Eurasia International Film Festival (Nur-Sultan City)

Shanghai International Film Festival

Krakow Film Festival

Warsaw Film Festival

MotelX – Lisbon International Horror Film Festival

Transilvania International Film Festival (Cluj)

Message To Man International Film Festival (Saint Petersburg)

Moscow International Film Festival

Busan International Film Festival

Cinema Jove (Valencia)

Gijon International Film Festival

San Sebastian International Film Festival

Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalunya

Zinebi – International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao

Locarno Film Festival

Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival Istanbul Film Festival

Molodist – Kyiv International Film Festival


Article by: Naman Ramachandran for Variety.

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