The film industry during the Covid-19 Crisis

25 May, 2020

NOTE: The article was published in April 2020, when the first restrictive measures were taken around the world to control the spread of the new coronavirus, and presents the situation of festivals and the changes in the international and local film industry that occurred as a result during that period.

The film industry has been strongly affected by the measures taken by the authorities to stop the spread of the new Coronavirus. Productions have been suspended, events canceled or postponed, and thousands of freelancers were left without a job.

This is a constantly updating material, where we will provide information on the most important changes in the international and local film industry, regarding film premieres, canceled events, films in production, and so on.



May 25, 2020 – The governor of Italy’s region Veneto declared that this year’s edition of the Venice Film Festival will take place, according to the initial program, between September 2-12.

Karlovy Vary Film Festival announces the program KVIFF at Your Cinema: 16 films will screen in 96 cinemas in 80 cities in the Czech Republic. The event will take place between July 3-11.

May 13, 2020Krakow Film Festival, Poland will take place online between May 31 – June 7.

CineEurope Spain (June 17-18) and Marché du Film (June 22-26) will also take place online.

May 12, 2020 – The first project of the Locarno Film Festival, whose purpose is to help filmmakers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, is the competition The Films After Tomorrow, where filmmakers can submit their projects that could not be finished because of the pandemic. More details are available on the Locarno Festival website.

May 5, 2020 – The Oberhausen International Short Film Festival will be held online between May 13-18, offering access to a selection of more than 350 short films. For more details and festival passes, go to the official website.

April 30, 2020 – The Hawick’s Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival will be held online between May 1-3. The selected films can be watched for free. For more details about the program and how to access the films, vist the Alchemy website.

April 28, 2020 – The President of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival announces the cancellation of this year’s edition; the festival will take place in July next year.

We strongly believe that seeing a movie with other people in a theater is a powerful and irreplaceable experience [..]  we have decided that holding an alternative version would go against the festival’s main mission: to bring together audiences, filmmakers, and people from different walks of life in order to collectively enjoy works of cinema.” (Jiří Bartoška, President of Karlovy Vary IFF)

The Locarno Film Festival has announced the cancellation of its 73rd edition. Locarno organizers have instead decided to launch an initiative to support independent cinema called “Locarno 2020 – For The Future of Films”. More details on the initiative will be revealed soon.

The Festival wants to confirm its presence alongside both the public and the film industry, with a project that aims to give a fresh shape, on other stages and platforms, to the values that have hallmarked its history over so many decades. (Marco Solari, President of Locarno Film Festival)

April 27, 2020 Youtube announces the We Are One: A Global Film Festival, which will take place between May 29-June 7, and will be available on the We Are One Youtube page, free of charge. The event is organized and produced by Tribeca Enterprises, New York and will include films from the world’s largest festivals such as Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, Berlin, Tribeca and Venice.

April 22, 2020 – This year’s edition of Sarajevo Film Festival will take place as scheduled, between August 14-21. Social distancing measures may be taken during the festival. If so, they will be announced on the festival’s website and on its social media channels.

The Jerusalem Film Festival postpones the 2020 edition, originally scheduled for July 16-26. They haven’t released a new date yet.

April 21, 2020IFC Films announces that it will allow cinemas across the US to screen 200 of its library titles for free once they open back up.

The Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival (Tallinn) continues its 15th edition online. It will take place between May 8-20, 2020. More details and the full program will be available on the HOFF website.

April 20, 2020Europe Distribution and the International Federation of Film Distributors’ Associations call for support to ease the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on film distribution, and demand an Emergency Fund and immediate access to the Creative Europe-MEDIA Automatic and Selective schemes grants.

Here you can find the complete statement.

April 8, 2020 – Cannes parallel sections Critics’ Week, Directors’ Fortnight and ACID, originally rescheduled alongside the Cannes Film Festival for a potential end-June, start-July slot, have cancelled their 2020 editions after the French government extended a ban on large gatherings to mid-July.

April 7, 2020Annecy International Animation Film Festival cancels this year’s edition, which should have taken place between June 15-20, 2020.

April 4, 2020Amazon Prime will launch a project that will stream the movies selected at SXSW (South by Southwest) 2020 for 10 days on Amazon, following the cancellation of this year’s edition, which should have taken place in March. Movies are only available in the US and can be watched for free.

April 3, 2020Netflix and Italian Film Commissions organize a support fund for professionals in the Italian film industry whose work has been affected by the shutdown of operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

April 1, 2020Sundance Film Festival offers free access to its entire archive of masterclasses. They can be found on the Sundance website.

March 27, 2020The National Film Institute in Hungary offers 35 classic local films, with English subtitles. Movies are available here.

March 25, 2020Sundance Institute has postponed its programs in London and Hong Kong. They haven’t announced new dates for the events.

March 19, 2020Cannes International Film Festival should have taken place between May 12 – 23, 2020. It has been postponed to June.

March 18, 2020Edinburgh International Film Festival, scheduled for June 17-28, 2020, is postponed.

March 17, 2020BAFTA Festival has postponed Television Craft Awards and Television Awards.



May 13, 2020 – Film producer Ada Solomon submits an open letter, signed by a large number of professionals in the Romanian film industry, to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, calling for action to support the industry during this period. You can read the petition here.

May 1, 2020 – The One World Romania film festival offers the public several films to watch online, as well as live discussions with different guests. For more information, read the One World Romania press release.

April 27, 2020 – Between May 1-3, American Independent Film Festival organizes a weekend of films, which will take place on the platform. For more details, visit the event page.

Nine Stories of Love and Hate in Isolation, the latest film by director Dan Chişu, enters post-production. The film was shot on mobile phones, by the actors in the cast, for a week.

April 23, 2020Astra Film launches the Astra Film Online project through which makes publicly available several well-known nonfiction films that can be watched for free. The program can be found on the Astra Film website or on their Facebook page.

April 9, 2020Pelicam Film Festival is postponing this year’s edition, initially scheduled for June 18-21, 2020.

April 8, 2020KineDok Romania and One World Romania offer 15 documentaries to watch online, for free, until April 30th. To access them, go to the KineDok website and introduce the voucher code “Kine2019_Dok2020”.

April 7, 2020TIFF (Transilvania International Film Festival) decides to postpone the 19th edition, originally scheduled for May 29 – June 7. The new date of the 2020 edition remains to be announced.

BIFF (Bucharest International Film Festival) is postponing this year’s edition, which should have taken place between June 11-18, 2020, for a date to be announced later.

April 6, 2020Fundația9 launches ARTISTS ROOM, a program which offers micro-grants for independent artistic productions. Entries are open for all independent artists in any creative field (music, dance, performing arts, cinema, visual arts and new media, cultural journalism, literature or cross-domain), and projects must be submitted online until April 17, 2020, 12pm. For more details on submission rules, please visit the Fundația9 website.

April 2, 2020 – Filmmakers call on the Romanian Film Center Board of Directors and the Minister of Culture to offer financial aid during this time and to support the film industry, challenging the decision to suspend the CNC contest agenda. The appeal can be found here.

April 1, 2020 – Workshops by Super, festival of films made by teenagers, will be held online, and the deadline for entries has been extended to April 15. For details about the application, visit the Super website.

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American Independent Film Festival, scheduled for April 24-30, 2020, has been postponed, and the festival team will return with new dates for this year’s edition.

March 30, 2020Super, festival of films made by teenagers, makes available on Patreon films from previous editions.

March 26, 2020 – Under art.14 of the Presidential Decree no.195/16.03.2020 declaring the state of emergency in Romania, Romanian Film Center decides on suspending the agenda for the winning film projects of the 2nd session of the national contest held in 2019, until the end of the state of emergency.

March 16, 2020Fashion Film Festival is postponed. The event was scheduled for March 23-26, 2020.

March 11, 2020Gopo Awards, scheduled for March 24, is postponed for an indefinite date.

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March 10, 2020One World Romania International Human Rights and Documentary Festival, scheduled for March 20-29, 2020, is postponed.

On March 20, instead of the opening ceremony, the OWR festival team organized an online discussion where they talked about this year’s edition and how they will adapt to the present times. The discussion was followed by the online screening of short documentary Backyard (dir. Ross McElwee), as well as a conversation with the festival team.

Photographer and editor, she co-founded Dissolved Magazine. For Films in Frame she brings the news from the film world, in the Monday News column. She likes stories, Monty Python and going to the seaside.