Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)
THE unprecedented health challenge posed by the coronavirus threatening the globe has forced organisers of iREPRESENT International Documentary Film Festival to postpone the annual festival indefinitely. The four-day festival was scheduled to start on Thursday March 19th till 22nd at the Freedom Park, Lagos.
According to Co-Founder/Executive Director of the festival, Mr. Femi Odugbemi the decision to postpone the festival indefinitely was a hard one to ‘help keep our country and our participants safe and healthy.’
Odugbemi said that ‘we have constantly followed global developments on COVID-19 and have been monitoring appropriate sources for accurate and up-to-date information, and we believe our decision is the responsible thing to do, more so as we are expecting guests from Europe and America.’
He assured that the situation would continuously be monitored and evaluated and a new date would be communicated to the public very soon. “We recognise that this is a challenging period globally, much as we are committed to the Arts, we are equally committed to the safety of our guests, staff and our country,” he said.
He explained that over the past weeks, the world has been facing an unprecedented challenge and that as a responsible organization that takes safety seriously, we want to do all we can to help keep our country and our participants safe and healthy.
“In view of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Foundation for the Promotion of Documentary Film in Africa, organisers of the popular iREPRESENT International Documentary Film Festival has taken the hard decision to postpone the year 2020 festival indefinitely.
“We clearly understand the preparation that may have gone into the decision to attend the festival. We commend the loyalty of our long standing partners and international collaborators, but to see that a lot of our resource persons and guests outside of Nigeria would not be able to make it to the festival is quite unfortunate, and moving the festival to a later date when we might all be able to celebrate the 10th anniversary of iREP Film Festival together, is a good course of action,” he added.