The 2020 Banff World Media Festival, scheduled to run from June 14 to 17 in Canada, has been cancelled amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos was among the keynote speaker at the annual Canadian Rockies event dedicated to world television and digital content and its creation and development.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the organisers said they took in consideration the public direction from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Canadian government and the Alberta government in making the decision.
Canceling the festival after 41 years of success was not a decision that we took lightly, but it was the right thing to do for festival delegates, speakers and staff, Randy Lennox, president of Bell Media and chair of the Banff board of directors, said in a statement.
I commend the Banff team and our board for making this tough but necessary call, and I'm confident that the festival will come back better than ever in 2021. Please stay safe everyone, he added.
The organisers added that jury members for the festival's Rockie Awards will continue their discussion and present trophies to winners later this year.
Delegates will have the option of transferring their registration to next year or receiving a full refund.
Various events, film festivals, music concerts, movie releases have been postponed or cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed the lives of over 16,000 people worldwide.