Organizers said on Wednesday that they were unable to go ahead as planned with the 23rd edition of the A-list festival, which was to have run June 13-23. They were careful not to describe the festival as canceled, but they were unable to advise the new dates.
“Despite the impact of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, preparations for 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival have progressed steadily thanks to the generous support and deep engagement of the entire film community at home and abroad. We are deeply grateful for what you’ve done for us, and we hereby apologize for any inconveniences caused by the postponement,” they said in a statement. “The new dates for the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival will be announced as soon as possible.”
The Shanghai event is not the first film festival in Asia to be halted due to the impact of the virus outbreak. The Beijing International Film Festival, in China’s capital, had its physical manifestation canceled and was replaced earlier this month with a much smaller, online-only showcase. But Shanghai is the most prestigious in the region to have suffered this fate.
The announcement comes at a time when much of China is now emerging from stay-at-home regimes into a post-coronavirus new normal and economic activity is gaining speed. The giant Shanghai megalopolis, in particular, had escaped the worst effects of the coronavirus compared with other cities.
More to follow.