SARAJEVO: The 26th Sarajevo Film Festival which was to be held on-site from 14 to 21 August 2020, has been called off nine days before the opening. The organisers have announced that the whole festival will be moved online for this year’s edition.
One of the first major film events schedule to go ahead since the COVID crisis shut down most events the announcement will come as a major blow to the already hard hit film industry which had been looking towards the Sarajevo event as a beacon of hope for a return to normalisation.
This difficult decision was made following advice received from the Emergency Headquarters of the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the Kanton of Sarajevo, the Government of the Kanton of Sarajevo and the Emergency Headquarters of the Ministry of Health of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Sarajevo specifically. By cancelling all the on-site events the Sarajevo Film Festival wants to affirm its dedication to the community and its safety.
The festival programme (including film screenings, master classes, conversations with authors etc.) will be available to local audiences and film lovers across the world as well on the Sarajevo Film Festival’s VOD platform ondemand.sff.ba. This platform, developed in cooperation with Festival Scope and Shift72 Streaming Services, allows users to subscribe to the entire festival programme for seven days or to select individual titles and content.
With several hundred newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients daily, Bosnia and Herzegovina is nearing the moment when country’s the health system will not be able to deal with the new patients.