Poland’s Camerimage, the world’s leading film festival dedicated to cinematography, has been forced to abandon plans to stage a hybrid event, and will pivot to a purely digital format.

The festival, which takes place Nov. 14-21 in Toruń, had already announced that the majority of its screenings and events would be online, but it had hoped to stage a number of them on-site too.

However, the Polish government’s decision to limit cultural events due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country has put the kibosh on that.

“The decision has filled us with pain, but also understanding,” the fest director Marek Żydowicz said in statement sent to participants. “At the same time, we appeal to all creators of culture to find strength and survive the necessary restrictions.”

It said it had prepared everything necessary to stage the festival on-site and “despite the pandemic, many outstanding artists confirmed their readiness to come to Toruń.” These included Philippe Rousselot, Viggo Mortensen, Julian Sands, and Vittorio Storaro. It also said it had invited Ridley Scott, David Lynch, Volker Schlöndorff, Roman Polański, Jerzy Skolimowski, Carlos Saura, Tom Cruise, Kate Winslet, Keanu Reeves, Woody Allen and Agnieszka Holland.

“We expected the arrival of about a thousand cinematographers and film school students from around the world, and many representatives of companies producing film equipment and technologies,” it added.

The fest is now inviting participants to take part in the fest virtually through its online platform.

As previously reported, its exhibition stands for manufacturers of cameras and other cinematography kit will be recreated in a 3D format.

Competition films at the fest include “Ammonite,” “Charlatan,” “Falling,” “The Glorias,” “Never Gonna Snow Again,” “Nomadland” and “While at War.”