Coronavirus Outbreak: Hong Kong International Film Festival cancelled in light of surge in cases

The Hong Kong International Film Festival was supposed to take place in the second half of August.

FP Staff July 25, 2020 10:08:18 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Hong Kong International Film Festival cancelled in light of surge in cases

The Hong Kong International Film Festival, set to have taken place in the second half of August, has been cancelled.

The 44th edition of the film festival was previously rescheduled in March, due to the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak. Afterward, the dates had changed to 18  August and later, 31 August.

(Click here to follow LIVE updates on coronavirus outbreak)

But, the organisers on Friday bowed to the inevitable and announced the cancellation of HKIFF44 and the smaller Cine Fan activities in September and October.

Read the announcement below

They said that the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), one of Asia's longest-running film project markets, will go ahead as planned in virtual form. It will run from 26-28 August.

Albert Lee, the executive director, said, "While it is tremendously deflating, given all the hard work that we have put in, the well-being of our colleagues and the public is of utmost importance to us. Calling of HKIFF44 is heartbreaking, but we believe we have a duty to behave with social responsibility. We will start working on the next edition of the festival straight away. We are determined to make up for the 'lost' HKIFF44."

Last month, it was announced that Hong Kong FilMart, the largest film rights market in Asia, had given up on plans to be held in physical form this year. Instead, FilMart will migrate to a virtual platform, FILMART Online, running 26-29 August, 2020. The problem at the time was not specific to Hong Kong, but more reflected other cities being put on lockdown, and travel difficulties among Asian territories.

Cinemas have been closed for nearly two weeks, restaurants and bars must close at 6 pm, and mask-wearing has become compulsory on public transport and at all indoor public spaces, such as shopping malls.

(With inputs from Asian News International)

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