The postponement includes all film screening, awards, master classes, industry sessions and outreach programming, such as the LOOK Mental Health/Film Initiative.
“It’s just not practical for us to go ahead,” said John Thimothy, RIFFA Foundation’s president and CEO.
“April is a critical month for our planning, and with the pandemic which is currently raging, we cannot confidently present our festival in August as we had planned.”
Thimothy said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many of the aspects that go into festivals such as venues, international flights and sponsorship.
“Waiting to see if things go back to normal later in the summer so that we could decide in June to do our event in August is just not realistic,” Thimothy said.
“By postponing things now, we can give all of our allies and followers plenty of notice ahead of time.”
Thimothy said postponing the event was not an easy decision, especially due to the hundreds of films that have already been submitted.
The 5th RIFFA festival was slated for Aug. 11-15, but has been rescheduled for Aug. 10-14, 2021.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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