Many attendees of last week’s MIPTV are still in Cannes (or in transit in places such as Paris and Amsterdam) after Wednesday’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in Iceland.
While UK producers and TV execs have been finding alternative routes home (such as the creative RDF Media trip via fishing boat, as reported by C21, and the Royal Navy warships Britain sent to rescue stranded travelers today), attendees from places such as the U.S., Canada and Australia are stuck in various locales until flight paths are clear of volcanic ash. Right now Canadian and U.S. attendees are seeing flight availability opening up as early as Thursday, April 22, but as flights inevitably book up some may not get home until next week at the earliest.
Susan Boshcoff, director of production & development at Toronto’s re:think Entertainment, says many people are worried about the potential of a second volcano eruption before they can get out. ‘To be honest, there are a lot of tears here and we are all feeling really helpless,’ says Boshcoff, via email from Cannes. ‘Many people are terrified to even risk flying over the Atlantic, have no idea how or when we will get home or how to pay for all of this.’
Boshcoff, who has a flight booked out on Saturday, and a back up on Sunday just in case, also voices frustration of the lack of help and communication she and fellow Canadians have received from the Canadian government and airlines. She’s hoping to hear from the Canadian consulate in Nice regarding how many Canadians are stuck, but no word yet.
Judy Levenson, senior manager, development & co-production for National Geographic Channel, says there are currently eight staffers from NGCI and NGC US who cannot make it back to Washington, DC, though they’ve been lucky enough to be able to stay in their apartments for at least part of this week. She says it also looks like her team won’t get out until Saturday at the earliest. ‘Our patience is wearing thin,’ says Levenson, ‘and even the beauty of Cannes and lots of wine is not helping.’