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Beijing International Film Festival postponed due to coronavirus threat

The international film festival has been postponed, following in the footsteps of the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, and the IIFA awards in India. 

Our Correspondent

The coronavirus pandemic is proving increasingly damaging to film festivals and events around the world. After the SXSW (South By South West) Film Festival in Austin, Texas was cancelled owing to growing fears around the virus, the Beijing International Film Festival has followed suit. 

The festival was to be held in Beijing between 19-22 April. But with China at the heart of the pandemic caused by the coronavirus, the festival has been postponed indefinitely. 

International magazine, Varietyquoted a statement from the organisers citing the reasons for postponement as, "In order to cope with the overall situation of prevention of the novel coronavirus epidemic, and out of consideration for the safety and health of the festival’s guests, fans, media, partners and public." 

The coronavirus traces its origin to the Wuhan district in China, and has so far affected 109,400 people, and amounted to 3800 deaths across 95 countries. 

The Beijing International Film Festival is not the first film festival to cancel its schedule owing to the growing threats. The SXSW Festival, which was scheduled to be held from 13-22 March in Austin, Texas has now been canceled as well. Arati Kadav's Cargo (2019) was among the Indian films visiting the festival. Earlier in February, the Hong Kong International Film Festival also announced its postponement citing the same reasons. 

The International Indian Film Awards 2020 has also been rescheduled to a later date. The awards event was to be held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, this year. 

Earlier this month, actress Deepika Padukone had backed out of a visit to the Lakme Fashion Week in Paris citing similar concerns. 

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