FilmFest Munchen, the second-largest film festival in Germany behind the Berlinale, has decided to cancel its 2020 edition due to the coronavirus pandemic. It had been due to take place June 25 – July 4.
In a statement, festival organizers said they had considered numerous possibilities including shortening the event, limiting social numbers, shifting to online or postponing to autumn. However, ultimately they concluded it was “unfortunately not possible to continue planning a festival that depends intrinsically on filmmakers from all over the world meeting each other and the Munich audience”.
“The safety of the festival’s staff and guests must be the top priority,” the statement added. “The corona pandemic is preventing anyone from being able to predict what the next few months will bring. Whether Europe and the rest of the world will have returned to normal by the end of June is not foreseeable.”
They added that they will work to keep the festival visible this year and look forward to it retuning in 2021.
Cannes Film Festival, which had been due to run in May but pushed to late June due to the disruption, remains one of the last holdouts in the spring/early summer festival calendar. On the horizon are the key European summer events including Karlovy Vary (July 3-11), Locarno (August 5-15) and Sarajevo (August 14-21), before the fall festivals arrive in the shape of Toronto, Telluride and Venice.
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