Karlovy Vary Cancels July Festival Due To Coronavirus

The popular Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is the latest summer event to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 55th edition of the Czech event was due to be held July 3 – 11. The festival said the cancellation was necessary “in view of the Czech government’s ongoing coronavirus measures and the complicated worldwide situation”.

The festival promised to “offer a taste of the festival at selected movie theaters nationwide and the online KVIFF Eastern Promises Industry Days.”

The Czech government is due to ease the country’s strict lockdown on June 8 and according to festival organizers cinemas from then will be allowed to screen movies to a maximum of 50 viewers. KV is planning to tour some of their festival selections around the country in early July.

In early July the festival will also take online its industry-focused mini market for projects from Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and North Africa. KV is one of the partner festivals of the Youtube initiative We Are One: A Global Film Festival, announced yesterday.

“We strongly believe that seeing a movie with other people in a theater is a powerful and irreplaceable experience,” said Jiří Bartoška, president of the Karlovy Vary IFF. “And because the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the most important cultural events in the Czech Republic, we have decided that holding an alternative version would go against the festival’s main mission: to bring together audiences, filmmakers, and people from different walks of life in order to collectively enjoy works of cinema.”

The festival added that it would hold the 55th edition next year between July 2-10, 2021.

Locarno, Venice, Toronto, Telluride, San Sebastian, Zurich, New York, Tokyo and London are among major festivals still to come this year but doubts remain about their physical viability given the difficult circumstances. Cannes, Tribeca, SXSW and KV are among major events to have been knocked off the schedule so far.

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