Meeting Point – Vilnius cancelled due to coronavirus
- The Vilnius IFF’s industry event will not be held this year, but the festival will run as scheduled, according to the latest announcement
Meeting Point – Vilnius (MPV), the international industry event of the 25th Vilnius International Film Festival Kino Pavasaris (19 March-2 April), has been cancelled owing to concerns about the coronavirus. The event, which was poised to unspool its 11th edition from 30 March-1 April, has decided to prioritise the safety of the participants and guests amid the outbreak, which has also led to far-reaching travel restrictions across Europe. According to the latest announcement, the Vilnius International Film Festival will run as scheduled.
Every year, Meeting Point – Vilnius attracts hundreds of European film-industry professionals along with the participants across its various sections. Since many of the guests have been forced to cancel their presence at the event, this would definitely have affected the number of decision makers and other professionals attending and wouldn’t have allowed the projects presented during MPV to receive the necessary attention.
On the reasoning behind the decision, the head of MPV, Alessandra Pastore, stated: “The number of applicants for the Coming Soon session doubled compared to last year. We feel an enormous responsibility towards our filmmakers and aim to provide their projects with well-deserved attention from agents, distributors, producers and institutions. Regretfully, the travel restrictions impede our ability to do so.”
The cancellation also comes at a point when MPV had secured important support for its 2020 edition, partnering with renowned film organisations. As Algirdas Ramaška, CEO of Vilnius IFF, mentioned: “This edition of MPV was on track to be our best. It had been granted Eurimages patronage, the European Film Forum had been scheduled to close out the conference, the Innovation Day Lab focusing on Baltic distributors and movie theatres had been set up in cooperation with Europa Cinemas, and discussions for producers had been planned with the help of the European Film Academy. This situation is truly unfortunate.”
The Vilnius IFF, which will still run according to the official schedule, has also announced that filmmakers from the most heavily affected regions will not attend the gathering this time. On this point, Ramaška added, “In order to ensure the safety of our viewers, we have come to a mutual agreement with filmmakers who reside in coronavirus hotbed areas to cancel their visits. During the festival, premises will be ventilated and disinfected. Festivalgoers will receive refunds if screenings are cancelled.”
The organisers and the head of Meeting Point – Vilnius are hoping to have one of the best editions ever for the 2021 event.
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