Danish documentary festival CPH:DOX is canceling its opening night gala screening as well as any events within the program designed to attract 1,000 or more people, in accordance with a ban on large gatherings implemented by the Danish government.
The Copenhagen-based festival issued a statement on Monday (March 9) concerning the move as well as other precautions being taken by organizers amid the current COVID-19, or coronavirus, outbreak. Organizers say the fest will still be moving ahead as planned, “unless the authorities come up with new guidelines to avoid COVID-19 infection in the population.”
The film to be featured in the opening night gala on March 17 was Kenneth Sorento’s The Fight for Greenland. The fest runs from March 18-29.
Denmark’s National Board of Health has imposed travel restrictions on anyone entering the country from several “risk areas” including China, Iran, Italy (specifically, the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto, Valle d’Aosta and Marche) and South Korea (Gyeongbuk province, including the city of Daegu). Organizers of the fest say guests slated to attend from those regions have been notified.
The international documentary film festival’s 17th edition includes 65 films across the five competition categories, including a record 43 world premieres, 16 international premieres and six European premieres.
With the fest days away, it remains to be seen if it will share the same fate as other industry conferences and festivals that have been postponed or canceled in the wake of the virus’ spread. MIPTV organizers announced that it would be canceled for 2020 early last week, while organizers of South by Southwest pulled the plug, under direction from the host city of Austin, Texas late last week.
(With files from Jillian Morgan. Photo: Karoline Hill, CPH:DOX)