A surge of COVID-19 cases in Georgia's Black Sea province of Adjara this week has forced organisers of the Batumi International Arthouse Film Festival to postpone the event to next month, only a few days after they announced their full programmes.
The surge in cases in Georgia, which started in early September, reached a record-high 87 daily confirmed infections on Friday, with 29 of them in Batumi, the capital of the province. The backdrop has forced BIAFF organisers to postpone the event only three days before it was due to launch.
The festival is aware of the risks associated with the increasing cases of the Covid19 virus in Batumi and in order to ensure the protection of health and safety of the festival's guests, participants and audience, the best solution is to organise the festival in the first half of October" - BIAFF organisers
After consulting with government authorities they decided to postpone the festival to October, with the exact dates set to be confirmed by the end of this month and northwithstanding the pandemic circumstances.
The 2020 edition of the festival will have feature films from directors including Philippe Garrel (The Salt of Tears), Mohammad Rasoulof (There is no Evil) and Anna Basilia (Persona N2) in its competition section, with two documentary sections plus short film programmes.
A new section for the festival will also screen short films created by amateur and professional directors in the realm of pandemic lockdowns throughout this year.