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10 films to watch at We Are One: A Global Film Festival

From a Ugandan martial arts comedy to a 1924 British mountaineering documentary, 10 titles to help you dive into this 10-day online festival

A still from 'Air Conditioner'.
A still from 'Air Conditioner'.

With the world under lockdown, the film festival circuit has been hit hard. Most of the major festivals have either been cancelled or are likely to be. There’s some comfort for cinema fans, though, in the form of We Are One: A Global Film Festival.

Organised by YouTube and Tribeca Enterprises, the festival, with entries from 21 festivals including Cannes, Berlin and Toronto, runs from 29 May-7 June. More than 100 films can be streamed live on YouTube for free (many of these will also remain available to watch through the duration of the festival).

If you’re expecting festivals to pull out their greatest hits, the offerings will come as a surprise: not many well-known features or marquee names, but an eclectic mix of shorts, non-fiction, discussions, animation and experimental films. Here are 10 titles to set reminders for.

Crazy World

Toronto International Film Festival

29 May, 11.30pm

A group of kung fu-proficient kids face off against kidnappers in this madcap no-budget action film by Ugandan director Nabwana I.G.G. According to the TIFF website, this film was conceived by Nabwana “as a pre-emptive measure to discourage the kidnapping of his own children".

Eeb Allay Ooo

Mumbai Film Festival

30 May, 4.34pm

Prateek Vats’s film about a young migrant hired to scare away monkeys by imitating a langur won the top prize at the Mumbai Film Festival last year. The current plight of migrant labourers under lockdown should lend it an added poignancy.

On Transmission: Claire Denis in Conversation with Olivier Assayas

Berlin Film Festival

30 May, 10.45pm

Two of the greatest French directors ever, with 60-plus years of cinema between them, Claire Denis (Beau Travail, 35 Shots of Rum) and Olivier Assayas (Irma Vep, Clouds of Sils Maria) discuss the state of film today.

Ticket of No Return

Berlin Film Festival

1 June, 6.30pm

This 1979 film, written, shot and directed by Ulrike Ottinger, follows a woman known only as She on a wild tour of Berlin. An underseen classic of New German Cinema, it thrums with the energy of punk rock.

Tribeca Talks: Alejandro Iñárritu with Marina Abramović

Tribeca Film Festival

1 June, 8.45pm

This fascinating pairing has Alejandro González Iñárritu, who won consecutive Oscars for Best Director for Birdman and The Revenant, in conversation with the fearless and influential performance artist Marina Abramović.

The Epic of Everest

BFI London Film Festival

5 June, 2.30am

In 1924, J.B.L. Noel took a hand-cranked camera to record George Mallory and Andrew Irvine’s third attempt to climb Everest. The resulting documentary, restored by the BFI National Archive, shows the pristine, unforgiving beauty of the landscape at a time when mountaineering still captured the imagination of the public.

Air Conditioner

International Film Festival Rotterdam

6 June, 9.15pm

A jazzy, surreal city film from the Geraçao 80 collective, Air Conditioner follows a security guard on his journey through the streets of Luanda, Angola’s capital, on a day when air conditioners are mysteriously detaching from windows and falling to the ground.

Adela Has Not Had Supper Yet

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

7 June, 3.55am

No one did anarchic comedies like the Czechs. One of the prime attractions of Oldřich Lipský’s 1977 parody of the detective genre is a Mozart-loving, flesh-eating plant, created for the film by the legendary Jan Švankmajer.

Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight

New York Film Festival

7 June, 9.25pm

Eliza Hittman is one of the most intriguing American indie voices today, with her intimate, honest films about teenage lives (Beach Rats, Never Rarely Sometimes Always). Her raw, affecting style is already in evidence in this 2011 short that follows a Russian teenager in Brooklyn over one night.


Sundance Institute

7 June, 11.45pm

This hand-painted short, directed and animated by Alisi Telengut, is a charged meditation on the deportation of nearly 120,000 Kalmyk people by the USSR during World War II. This is part of a five-film Indigenous Shorts Program.

Visit for the fullschedule.

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