CPH:DOX is the most recent event to pull the plug amid concerns around the coronavirus pandemic, announcing plans Wednesday (March 11) to take the Copenhagen documentary film festival online following restrictions on public gatherings enforced by the Danish government this week.
The festival was scheduled to take place March 18 to 29.
The more than 700 planned screenings of 220 films have been canceled and organizers are taking “necessary steps” to launch parts of CPH:DOX digitally, partnering with Festival Scope to make an online program available for a local audience. The program will highlight a selection of this year’s Danish and international titles, such as DOX:AWARD competition films Songs of Repression and Long Live Love.
CPH:DOX said it is also working towards having the six competition programs judged online by the appointed juries, as well as reviewed and covered by Danish and international film critics.
Industry activities — comprising coproduction event CPH:FORUM, the five-day CPH:CONFERENCE and training activity CPH:LAB — will be carried out digitally “to a great extent.” CPH:MARKET titles will be available for accredited guests on the Cinando platform.
“The well known CPH:DOX social experience will have to reinvent itself in a whole new way, and the team is now working 24/7 to make it happen,” organizers stated in a release.
The news comes just a day after cancellations were announced from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), concerning its event scheduled to begin on April 18 in Las Vegas, and the Full Frame Documentary Festival, slated for April 2 to 5 in North Carolina.
On Wednesday (March 11), California Governor Gavin Newsom called for gatherings of more than 250 people to be postponed or cancelled statewide in an effort to “slow the spread of COVID-19.” The policy will be in place at least through the month of March, according to reports.
“Changing our actions for a short period of time will save the life of one or more people you know,” Newsom said in a statement. “That’s the choice before us. Each of us has extraordinary power to slow the spread of this disease. Not holding that concert or community event can have cascading effects — saving dozens of lives and preserving critical health care resources that your family may need a month from now. The people in our lives who are most at risk – seniors and those with underlying health conditions – are depending on all of us to make the right choice.”
President Donald Trump also announced Wednesday that the U.S. government is restricting travel to the country from foreign nationals that have recently been in the Schengen Area, which comprises European countries such as Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, among others.