Paul Schrader Wants Netflix and Amazon to Save the World’s Biggest Film Festivals

Paul Schrader Wants Netflix and Amazon to Save the World’s Biggest Film Festivals

Countless filmmakers have projects stuck in limbo by the ongoing COVID crisis, but Paul Schrader has been one of the most public voices to struggle with it. In March, he had just a few days of shooting left on his “First Reformed” followup, “The Card Counter,” starring Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish, when another actor tested positive for coronavirus and the Mississippi-based production had to shut down.

Schrader wrote to IndieWire proposing a solution to the challenge facing all film festivals: the inability to hold public gatherings. The “virtual film festival” concept has divided the film community, with some consultants arguing that it does no favours for filmmakers, and others seeing it as the only way forward. Schrader falls into the latter camp but believes it can only happen with major players at the table. (The idea bears some similarity to the “We Are One” festival announced by Tribeca and YouTube earlier this month, but its programming details remain vague.)

He says that the Tribeca Festival doesn’t have enough muscle. He adds that only three players with that muscle — Netflix, Amazon, and Disney and that it’s a wonderful opportunity for someone like Netflix to create an event that pulls all these forces together. 
 


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