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

FERA: The Federation of European Film Directors
FIA: The International Federation of Actors
FIAD: The International Federation of Film Distributors’ Associations
FIAPF: International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations
FSE: The Federation of Screenwriters in Europe
IVF: International Video Federation
UNI MEI: The Media, Entertainment & Arts Sector of UNI Global Union
UNIC: The Union Internationale des Cinémas/International Union of Cinemas