Postponement follows cancellation of Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and cancellation of "physical parts" of CPH:DOX
The Tribeca Film Festival is the latest major cinematic mega-event to be scotched by the growing Coronavirus emergency.
On Thursday, the festival announced it was postponing the festival "until further notice." It was to have run from April 15-26 in lower Manhattan.
"We have made the difficult decision to postpone the 19th Tribeca Film Festival (April 15-26) based on the announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that events of 500 people or more are banned due to the spread of the novel coronavirus," Tribeca co-founder Jane Rosenthal said in a statement. "We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of the public while also supporting our friends, filmmakers and storytellers who look to Tribeca as a platform to showcase their work to audiences. We will be back to you shortly with our plans."
The statement advised those who had planned to attend Tribeca to keep an eye on www.Tribecafilm.com for updates on ticket refunds and "how we are moving forward."
Only last week Tribeca announced its full lineup, with festival director Cara Cusumano touting the value of big crowds gathering for a celebration of cinema.
“This year’s festival embraces the unique power of film to bring people together -- whether that’s literally the communal experience of watching a film in a packed theater, or the more intangible way a great film can make you empathize with a stranger’s struggle,” Cusumano said in a statement last Tuesday.
Among the documentaries that were to have premiered at Tribeca 2020 was opening night film Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President, directed by Mary Wharton, as well as John Lewis: Good Trouble, directed by Dawn Porter, and The Art of Political Murder, director by Paul Taylor and executive produced by George Clooney.
The Tribeca news came hours after the cancellation of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina, an event under the aegis of Duke University.
"Yesterday, Duke University canceled all sponsored events through April 20, 2020, which includes this year’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. At this time, we are in the process of notifying filmmakers, sponsors, donors, ticket buyers, and all of our stakeholders," said a statement attributed to the "The Full Frame Team." "We are deeply grateful for the understanding of our incredible Full Frame community, along with the continued support from Duke University. Know that we remain committed to our mission of celebrating and enhancing the documentary art form and now look ahead to next year’s festival, running April 8-11, 2021."
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.