Screenings at Melbourne Festival canceled due to city’s sixth lockdown

In a country that is trying to trace all the contaminations to eradicate the virus, cinemas have had to close their doors. The organizers of the event are relying on online programming.

For the second year in a row, the Melbourne International Film Festival has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. After a 100% virtual edition in 2020, this 79th edition was to find its way back to dark rooms. But the covid decided otherwise. Since Monday, the city has been subject to a sixth lockdown due to cases of contamination that health authorities have failed to trace. The organizers of the festival, which opened last Thursday, have therefore made it obvious: the screenings planned in the capital of the state of Victoria, the second most populous city in the country, have been canceled.

In light of the progress of the Covid epidemic in Melbourne and concerned about the safety of the public and the teams, the management of the Melbourne International Film Festival made the difficult decision to cancel the screenings in theaters, scheduled from Thursday August 12 to Saturday August 22“, Explain the organizers in a statement released Tuesday. Festival management added that all local cinemas and ticket holders would be reimbursed.

Building on the experience of last year, the event had however planned an online presence on a platform accessible to Australians. Thirty new films will be screened on the site, including four that will be noticed at Cannes: The hills where the lionesses roar, Civil, Rehana Maryam Noor and Baby Yar. Context. And the festival hopes to be able to maintain the few screenings planned in select venues in the state of Victoria – outside of Melbourne. “I am very glad that substantial and wonderful parts of the festival endure despite the situation, said the artistic director of the Al Cossar festival in The Sidney Morning Herald . But it stings a bit.


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