EXCLUSIVE: The Big Apple has already lost multiple film festivals this year due to the pandemic. The New York Film Festival is optimistic it won’t suffer the same fate, however, and is still very much planning to go ahead in September.
Organizers told us today, “The festival will be going ahead and everyone can expect some exciting announcements about our plans in the next few weeks.” Amid much industry uncertainty due to the pandemic, the festival’s announcements will include “comprehensive information” about the event, whose 58th edition is due to run September 25 – October 11, 2020. This year marks the first at the helm for new fest director Eugene Hernandez.
With Cannes unable to take place this summer, doubt hanging over other summer festivals and Venice admitting that it is likely to be a less international affair, U.S. distributors and filmmakers will be increasingly needy for sizeable launchpads for their movies later in the year. While New York may struggle to attract its usual level of international talent, it could potentially become an even greater platform for U.S. projects.
Like Tribeca, which has moved portions of its cancelled event online, we may also see a healthy digital offering in the plans. Film at Lincoln Center is currently running a slate of movie “openings” in its FLC Virtual Cinema.
Toronto said in March that it was exploring a combination of digital and physical programming options for its festival in early September. Organizers confirmed that likelihood this week.
Last year, NYFF hosted the world premiere of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman as well as movies including Parasite, Marriage Story, Motherless Brooklyn, First Cow and Pain And Glory.
Earlier this month, The New York Asian Film Festival postponed its July event due to the pandemic.
New York City has been the epicenter of the breakout in the U.S., recording 140,000 cases and almost 11,000 deaths. The city remains under lockdown until at least May 15.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.