The annual event, at which Hollywood studios present their upcoming slates to European cinema operators, was originally scheduled for June 22-25. But as Spain continues to grapple with a coronavirus crisis that has spiraled out of control, the event’s organizers at Film Expo Group have moved this year’s convention to Aug. 3-6.
“We feel that holding the 2020 show is important, not just for the morale of the industry (we will not by then have had a major convention for over 12 months), but also as a clear signal that we are again ‘open for business,’” the group said in a short statement.
Noting that their “priority remains the safety of our attendees,” organizers said they’ll continue to evaluate a rapidly evolving situation, stressing that “we remain uncertain that we can operate CineEurope safely by the time those dates arrive.”
The group set a June 19 deadline to determine if the convention will go ahead as planned.
“We will of course not stage CineEurope 2020 unless it is safe to do so and we know that the convention will be successful,” read the statement. “If the outbreak continues at that time, or if travel restrictions do not allow everyone to travel, then we will of course not proceed.”
Spain has been one of the European countries hardest hit by the global pandemic. On Monday, the Spanish death toll spiked by 514 to a total of 2,696, with nearly 40,000 confirmed cases. The country is under lockdown, after a 15-day state of emergency was announced on March 14.