Amid ongoing coronavirus concerns worldwide, Iran’s Fajr International Film Festival is the latest event to reschedule its dates to next year.
The annual festival has been deferred in consideration of the safety and health of all the guests, participants and the public, as well as to coordinate with the overall epidemic prevention work in the country.
According to the press headquarters of the annual cinematic event, Festival Director Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour said on Thursday that they have pushed the 38th edition to 2021. “The festival is among many that are changing plans amid the spread of the virus globally. We felt incredibly sad about having to postpone the film festival this year,” he noted.
Despite Fajr’s optimism that the show can go on, moving the festival to late May or early June was still a risky gamble considering countries are currently in lockdown mode and the outbreak in Iran is far from over.
In this respect, Asgarpour said, “We appreciate the tremendous support and well wishes from our fans and colleagues during these uncertain times. We thought we could re-schedule the event for May or later, but with much regret and like many other international festivals, we are postponing the festival until 2021.”
He added, “We can organize the event online. We had an extraordinary line-up of wonderful films planned. However, we cannot have in-person gatherings. Many film makers and international guests would be unable to attend the festival. They come from countries that are still under lockdown. There are also several domestic issues and conditions that forced us to postpone the 38th edition to 2021. We did this in collaboration with Hossein Entezami, the head of the Cinema Organization of Iran, and FIAPF.”
Many events around the world have also been cancelled amid the COVID-19 outbreak, including film festivals and music concerts. Release of much-awaited new movies have also been pushed by several months to the winter.