On the same day that organisers of the iREPRESENT International Documentary Film Festival (IREP) announced the indefinite postponement of the 2020 edition due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) and the Durban FilmMart (DFM) have said they are yet to decide if the events would be postponed or not.
DIFF will happen from July 16 to 26 while DFM holds between July 17 to 20.
Responding to enquiries about the status of both events, organisers issued a brief statement on Tuesday.
It read: “Dear Fellow filmmakers, stakeholders, partners, film media and film industry practitioners, in light of the South African Government’s efforts to level off and minimise the risk of people contracting the virus and in response to enquiries regarding whether the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) and the Durban FilmMart (DFM) will go ahead this year, we would like to announce that festival planning is proceeding as scheduled.
“As our event takes place in the last week in July 2020 (DIFF 16-26 July and DFM 17-20 July), we believe it is too early to decide in this regard. We will, however, keep a close watch on developments and should we get to a point where we believe we should indeed postpone; we will make the call.
“This will be done timeously in consultation with relevant government health authorities and relevant stakeholders to ensure that potential delegates, partners, stakeholders, and film industry representatives do not make any unnecessary expenditure.”
Recall that there have been over 7,019 deaths and 173,344 infections globally from the pandemic as on Tuesday morning. Its virulent spread has forced many countries to shut their borders as they battle to contain the virus.
South Africa has confirmed 51 cases so far, and people have resorted to panic buying, emptying shops across the country.