This year's Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival has been postponed due to the coronavirusdisease (COVID-19) crisis, Cinemalaya Foundation and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) announced on Saturday, March 21.
The 16th edition of Cinemalaya, an annual film festival that aims to develop and promote Filipino independent films, was scheduled to run from August 7 to August 16.
In a statement on Facebook, Cinemalaya Foundation and CCP cited the situation related to COVID-19 as the reason for postponing the film festival
"We recognize the health and safety hazards that film production might pose on filmmakers and workers as they strive to meet the original deadlines for the competition. We also anticipate the modified ways of 'live' audience engagement that might need to be adopted after the quarantine period," the organizers said.
"This crisis puts into sharp focus the readiness of our industry with regards [to] the health and safety of its constituents and Cinemalaya will work with agencies and organizations to address this gap. The organizers will also consider solutions for mitigating the economic loss that stakeholders of the festival absorbed," they added.
According to the organizers, the festival's programmers are currently looking for alternative ways of delivering content to the public using online technologies.
"During these vulnerable times faced by fellow festival organizers in the Philippines and all over the world, we are heartened by the independent initiatives of filmmakers and publics to use the digital medium to inform, instruct, and inspire. We anticipate a new breed of stories and storytellers as we emerge from this defining moment in our history," said the organizers.
"Mag-social distancing. Laging maghugas ng kamay. Mag-quarantine. Mabuhay!" they added.
Other film festivals that have been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak include the Summer Metro Manila Film Festival, Sinag Maynila, and Daang Dokyu.