Thessaloniki Documentary Festival postponed due to coronavirus
- The festival was supposed to take place from 5-15 March but has been postponed amid worries about new cases of the disease in Greece and following the latest announcement issued by the WHO
The 22nd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, which was set to take place from 5-15 March, has been postponed following the latest announcement issued by the World Health Organization, which has updated its estimates concerning the spread of the coronavirus, the festival said in a press release today.
“The safety of the working staff, the audience, the city’s residents and the festival’s guests from both Greece and abroad is our top priority. We are considering the prospect of hosting the 22nd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival at the end of May/beginning of June, and we’ll keep you up to date as soon as there’s more news to share,” said the festival.
The gathering’s artistic director, Orestis Andreadakis, stated: “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the festival’s staff, of the audience in Thessaloniki and of the hundred foreign guests. It was a difficult, but necessary decision.”
A part of the festival activities will be carried out via the internet, especially the initiatives and projects hosted by Agora, the development branch of the festival, providing accredited professionals from all over the world with the chance to watch and evaluate Greek documentaries. Also, the Docs in Progress segment will be carried out online so that awards and cash prizes can be conferred without delay.
At the moment, Greece has seven reported cases of coronavirus infection and the Ministry of Health has cancelled the Apokries carnival festivities this weekend. The decision coincides with Turkey's announcement that it will open its border with Greece to refugees. By Sunday, more than 13,000 people had gathered at the border, and clashes with Greek police were reported.
In response, yesterday, the prime minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced that the country would not be accepting any new asylum applications for at least one month. He also said the country's national security council had decided "to increase the level of deterrence at our borders to the maximum", writes The Business Insider (read more here).
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