After last week setting a May 4 deadline to decide if CineEurope would go ahead as planned this June, organizers at Film Expo Group have now said they are postponing the major exhibition convention to August. Originally scheduled for June 22-25 in Barcelona, Spain, the annual event has been moved to August 3-6. Keeping safety top of mind and aiming to give participants ample notice for travel and scheduling, Film Expo has left the door open to moving off the August dates depending on how the coronavirus situation evolves, and will provide further updates in the coming months.
CineEurope is a key stop on the annual calendar for Hollywood studios as they present their upcoming slates to European cinema operators. The event regularly attracts big name talent to the Spanish city.
In a memo sent to the industry, Film Expo’s Robert and Andrew Sunshine and the team wrote that amid the current situation, they were “uncertain” of being able to safely proceed with CineEurope for the June dates and have instead set their sights on the August timetable.
“We feel that holding the 2020 show is important, not just for the morale of the industry (we will not by then have had a major convention for over 12 months), but also as a clear signal that we are again ‘open for business’.” (Read the memo in full below)
Film Expo was obliged to cancel CineAsia last year amid escalating violence and anti-government protesting in Hong Kong. That event is now due to take place in Bangkok this coming December. Earlier this month, the National Association of Theatre Owners said that it was cancelling CinemaCon 2020, which had been set for March 30-April 2 in Las Vegas.
CineEurope is the official convention of the International Union of Cinemas which represents 42K screens in 38 European countries. Today, UNIC separately urged national governments to support European exhibitors during the COVID-19 crisis which has forced move theater closures across the continent. Already, such markets as France, Italy and Germany have begun measures to help lessen the financial impact of the outbreak on their local industries.
Here is the full memo from Film Expo Group regarding CineEurope:
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT CINEEUROPE 2020
During this unprecedented time, we hope that you, your colleagues and families are staying safe and healthy.
You will know that we recently communicated our intention to let you know by 4 May 2020 whether or not we intended to go ahead with CineEurope on its planned dates in June.
However, with your safety and welfare being our absolute priority, and given current news across the globe, we remain uncertain that we can operate CineEurope safely by the time those dates arrive.
Because of that, we have made the decision to re-date CineEurope 2020 to run from 3-6 August 2020.
It is our hope that by this time, we would be able to safely do so, but again, to give you ample notice, we will let you know our final decision by 19 June 2020.
We feel that holding the 2020 show is important, not just for the morale of the industry (we will not by then have had a major convention for over 12 months), but also as a clear signal that we are again ‘open for business.’
It will be a great opportunity for the industry to gather and celebrate the resurgence of the business and for studios to show colleagues their upcoming film content and release schedule for the next 12 months.
We will of course not stage CineEurope 2020 unless it is safe to do so and we know that the convention will be successful. If the outbreak continues at that time, or if travel restrictions do not allow everyone to travel, then we will of course not proceed.
So just again to confirm, our plan is that CineEurope 2020 will run from 3-6 August 2020 at the CCIB in Barcelona.
Our priority remains the safety of our attendees and we commit to being absolutely transparent in our thinking over the next several months.
In the meantime, stay safe and join us in hoping that the current challenges are soon over so our industry can return to its magnificent best.
Bob, Andrew, Phil, & Laura