The event’s 2020 edition had been scheduled to run August 6-23, meaning this is one of the earlier decisions being taken by a festival. Yesterday, Munich, the second-largest such fest in Germany, called off its June event.
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.
The Melbourne decision marks the first time in the fest’s 69-year history that it won’t be staged. Artistic Director Al Cossar said the decision was “very hard but plainly necessary, responsible and required given what we all face together at this moment.”
“The thought of a winter without MIFF in our city is a disorienting one; deeply disappointing to both our organization, and I’m sure, our community…It is a decision that was very hard but plainly necessary, responsible and required given what we all face together at this moment. Our thoughts rush to those who make MIFF what it is year after year, and what it will return to be. To our partners, funders, venues, staff, suppliers, filmmakers and artists, volunteers, prized collaborators of all kinds, and our own uniquely MIFF audiences, we wish you safety and support; we will continue, together.”
Organizers added that, in the absence of a festival, they would consider “other means of continuing to engage audiences”.