What’s The Latest On The Venice, Toronto, Telluride, Locarno & Karlovy Vary Film Festivals Amid The Pandemic?
The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the film festival calendar. Cannes had to give up on its June-July dates last week and a plethora of smaller events have cancelled this spring and summer. Here’s an update on the status of five of the biggest remaining festivals on the schedule. It’s fair to say there remains uncertainty around each of them.
Karlovy Vary (July 3 – 11): The major Czech festival, which has become central and eastern Europe’s leading film event with a large international contingent, has revealed to us that it is planning to hold a press conference next Tuesday (April 28th) where it will update on its status. We are told organizers continue to prep the event but that they are “monitoring and evaluating the situation”, which remains fluid. The Czech Republic implemented a strict lockdown at an early stage and borders remain closed. The lockdown was marginally eased yesterday and discussions are underway with neighboring countries about easing travel restrictions. As of Sunday morning, the country had recorded 6,657 cases of COVID-19 and 181 deaths.
Locarno (August 5 – 15): Flagship Swiss festival Locarno told us this week that discussions are still taking place regarding this year’s event. A festival spokesperson said: “At the moment we are examining possible scenarios for the festival. While waiting to know how the provisions of the cantonal and federal authorities regarding events and gatherings will be outlined (for the moment this is pending), the festival administration is working with its partners to identify the most suitable solution to the current context. The artistic and operations departments are studying various scenarios and considering all possible variations, while waiting to submit them to the Board of Governors who will discuss them during the month of April.” Switzerland will begin easing its lockdown on April 27 but there has been no word yet on when mass events will be allowed.
Venice (September 2 – 12): The glamorous and prestigious Lido festival, which has attracted numerous Oscar contenders in recent years, told us on Friday that it was still on course for an early September launch. Yesterday, in an interview with Italian news agency ANSA, the president of the Venice Biennale admitted that he expects foreign attendance to be down this year. “We are doing simulations regarding a typical festival day,” he said, adding that there would be “a proposal that we will bring forward to producers,” and that the Biennale has given itself an “end of May” deadline for clarity on its status and structure. Italy has been among the worst hit countries in the world by the pandemic with more than 180,000 confirmed cases and more than 24,000 deaths. The country remains largely under strict lockdown and there are no firm dates for widespread reopening, which makes the prospect of a major international festival in four months a challenging one.
Telluride (September 4 – 7/8): A spokesperson for the picturesque and famously press-shy Telluride Film Festival has told us that they are “hoping to have some information this week” regarding the event’s status and planning in light of the coronavirus. The Oscar-bellwether was expected to expand to five days this year after the Town Council approved an additional day earlier this month. Colorado has recorded close to 10,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and 422 deaths. The state garnered international headlines this week when healthcare workers blocked anti-lockdown protests.
Toronto (September 10-20): A spokesperson for North America’s biggest festival, which attracts close to 500,000 people, has told us: “The dates announced in September 2019 for TIFF 2020 were September 10-20, 2020. We cannot say at this point that the festival would start and end exactly on those dates.” This is a notable update. The festival said in a statement posted to its website in mid-March: “We recognize that in planning for the festival now, there is still uncertainty about what ‘people coming together again’ will look like in September. This is why we are looking at both onsite and digital innovations, which will provide options that will deliver for our audiences, support filmmakers and our partners, and bolster the industry.” The TIFF Bell Lightbox, the festival HQ, will remain closed until at least July. Canada has recorded more than 1,600 deaths from the disease and last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned against premature reopening of the economy, stating that “in order to get to that point, we need to continue doing what we are doing now for many more weeks”.
This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/04/what-latest-coronavirus-venice-toronto-telluride-locarno-karlovy-vary-film-festivals-covid19-1202912423/