Sunday, May 31, 2020

Cannes Film Festival Postponed But Diverse Filmmakers Find Silver Lining

On the day we were to witness the 73rd Festival de Cannes' opening ceremonies, Yolonda Brinkley of Diversity in Cannes, the intiative promoting inclusion at the Cannes Film Festival, announced official selections of the 2020 Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase and its Cannes Conversations, a twelve day virtual series highlighting Festival Alums. With the goal of lifting filmmaker spirits, she hopes the announcement will inspire creativity and encourage the continued pursuit of dreams, amidst global uncertainty.

"As COVID-19 wreaks havoc on millions, causing the postponement of the Festival de Cannes and Diversity Day programming, I was reluctant to announce the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase official selections. While we battle this global pandemic, I remain uncertain about the timeliness of our news without new date confirmation,"comments Yolonda Brinkley, Diversity in Cannes. "However, despite its appearance, these diverse filmmakers, giving voice to marginalized populations through stories, deserve recognition. I wholeheartedly believe there's power in celebrating in the midst of the storm and am delighted to share this exciting news, as a silver lining for our global film family."

Created to celebrate underrepresented filmmakers at the Cannes Film Festival, the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase is presented by American Publicist, Yolonda Brinkley, with support from Academy Award Winner Viola Davis and Julius Tennon's JuVee Productions.

Selected by a screening committee of entertainment professionals, from 324 submissions representing 31 countries, the films will be screened at an event concurrent with the 73rd Festival de Cannes, assuming confirmation of future 2020 date. Final winners will be selected onsite by an esteemed jury and announced at an awards reception following the screening. Prizes include mentor meetings with industry executives Elon Johnson, Tyler Perry Studios, CBS Entertainment Diversity's Tiffany Smith Anoa'i and Talent Agents Tracy Christian and Clair Best.

1. "Wash Day" Jaida Salmon, Canada
2. "Welcome Back" Tiffany Guillen, Ecuador/USA
3. "Beads" Rachel Byrd, USA
4. "Fisherman" Zoey Martinson, Ghana
5. "Yellow Girl and Me" Isabella Issa, Jamaica
6. "Down" Rzn Torbey, Switzerland
7. "CODA" Erika Davis-Marsh, USA
8. "The House of LeKeitio" Jasone Urgoitia Urrutia, Spain
9. "Black Boy Joy" Martina Lee, USA
10. "Strangers Reunion" Liz Sargent, United Kingdom
11. "Cupcake" Courtney Grace, USA
12. "Catch A Girl" LeRon Lee, USA
13. "We Meet on the Roof" Nicholas Sun, China
14. "Honeymoon" Amy Aniobi, Mexico/USA
15. "The Mandarin Tree" Cengiz Akaygun, Germany
16. "Freeze" Maya Albanese, USA
17. "Paese Che Vai - When in Rome" Luca Padrini, Italy

Given the fluidity of the global pandemic, the organization's plan is to stay home in hopes of flattening the corona curve and to align with the execution strategy of the Cannes Film Festival, monitoring the crisis and providing updates as appropriate.

In closing, Brinkley adds, "As a woman of faith, I'm believing God for supernatural healing and restoration of our emotional, financial and physical health. I am cautiously optimistic we will safely convene on the Croisette in Cannes in celebration of life and marginalized voices globally. In the interim, on the day we were to witness the 73rd Festival de Cannes' opening ceremonies, I am delighted to announce official selections of the 2020 Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase, with the goal of lifting filmmaker spirits during these unprecedented times.

To learn more about their inclusion efforts at the Festival de Cannes follow on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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