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‘Unfortunate timing’: Edmonton International Film Festival website hacked ahead of Oscar shorts screening

The 2016 Edmonton International Film Festival, Sept. 29, 2016. Courtesy: Cassian Soltykevych/ EIFF

The Edmonton International Film Festival said Thursday that its website had been “completely wiped” after the server it was hosted on was hacked.

“I was told that our website has basically been wiped out, and the backup for it has been wiped out,” Paul Mennier, the publicist for EIFF said.

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The website is hosted and run by Edmonton-based company Huntington + Worth Creative Inc., Mennier said, and there is currently no estimate for when the website will be back up and running.

“It’s just unfortunate timing,” Mennier said. “We’re just going into screenings of the Oscar-nominated short films in the live action, animated and documentary categories, and that’s happening next week at Landmark Cinemas.”

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Mennier said that they’ve been assured any customers who may have purchased tickets through the EIFF website would not have their information compromised, because the purchasing portion of the ticketing is done through Landmark’s website.

“It’s just an inconvenience for some of our patrons who would use our website to peruse the schedule and buy tickets,” Mennier said.

The Oscar-nominated short film series will run at the Landmark Cinemas Edmonton City Centre from Feb. 3-9. Tickets run for $15 and now can only be purchased directly on the Landmark website, or at box office on the day of.

EIFF is also hosting a live pyjama watch party for the Oscars on Feb. 9, but tickets for that are also hosted on a separate website and were unaffected.

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The 2020 Edmonton International Film Festival, which is Oscar qualifying, is set to run Sept. 24 – Oct. 3.

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