Prague, Czech Republic – The 2020 edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF), the most important event of the kind in the Czech Republic, has been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus crisis, the organizers announced this morning.
Originally scheduled to take place from July 3-13, the 55th edition of the flagship international film festival held in the Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary will be postponed until July 2-10, 2021 instead.
KVIFF head Jiri Bartoska explained that they had initially planned to delay the festival until August, but eventually decided to cancel it altogether due to the volatile sanitary situation in the Czech Republic and the rest of the world.
“When I invited people to the festival’s 55th edition, nobody had any idea what kind of situation we would be faced with”, Bartoska said in a video posted on the festival’s Facebook page. “We considered a make-up date, but because the situation is changing rapidly and nobody can be sure what is going to happen, we have decided to hold the festival next year”.
His announcement comes only one day after a sudden increase in new coronavirus cases was reported in the areas of Cheb and Marianske Lazne, located in the Karlovy Vary region, while new Covid-19 infections have been steadily declining overall in the Czech Republic.
Although the 2020 edition of the Karlovy Vary festival has been cancelled, KVIFF organizers are reportedly planning an alternative event that could include movie screenings throughout the country.
Attracting over 12,000 accredited visitors in 2019, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival last year honoured the work of U.S. actresses Patricia Clarkson and Julianne Moore, who received the Crystal Globe Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema. The grand prize of the competition went to the Greek-Bulgarian film Father, directed by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the most prominent and leading film events in Central and Eastern Europe, showcasing every year, since 1946, the movies of the most talented filmmakers and promising cinema talents from all around the world.
Main photo credit: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival