Fajr Intl. Film Festival cancels 2020 edition over coronavirus

May 8, 2020 - 18:45

TEHRAN – The Fajr International Film Festival, Iran’s major film event, has canceled the 38th edition over the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival’s president said on Thursday.

The festival was scheduled to be held in April, however, amid the growing concern over the new virus during March, the organizers postponed it to a later time in June.

“At present, although it is possible to organize the festival semi-online as the initial arrangements, such as selecting films for the various sections of the festival, had been made, due to the fact that it is impossible for guests from around the world to attend the festival, the 2020 edition is canceled and preliminary arrangements for organizing the 2021 festival start from now,” Mohammad-Mehdi Asgarpur said in a press release.

“First, it seemed that it was possible to organize the festival during June, but the virus outbreak was so extensive that some international festivals scheduled for spring and summer this year were canceled,” he added.

Groups of Iranian cineastes called on the Cinema Organization of Iran to cancel film festivals in the country to allocate the festivals’ budgets to those filmmakers and film organizations affected by the coronavirus shutdown.

Asgarpur had previously raised a serious objection to the request.

Photo: A poster for the Fajr International Film Festival.