The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on a number of sectors and businesses all over the world. With lockdown measures and social distancing rules in place, events and gatherings which would attract crowds have now become a thing of the past, and this looks like being the case for the foreseeable future. Even as some countries have begun to cautiously reopen due to their success in managing the virus, others are still right in the middle of the curve, with record-breaking case numbers every day, and so it is still too early to say that we are over the worst of this pandemic. In such a scenario, public events are impossible, as is opening public spaces such as libraries, swimming pools, gyms, and movie theatres.
In fact, the movie business has been badly affected, as several potential blockbusters have had their release dates pushed back due to the virus, all over the world. Additionally, there have also been quite a few movies that have had to settle for direct releases onto streaming platforms such as Netflix, given the uncertainty around when movie theatres can open again. This is one way for producers to ensure that they make some revenue at the moment, rather than delaying film releases which only adds to the cost. This is in keeping with the general trend during this pandemic, where online forms of entertainment have become even more popular as people have been staying at home. Gaming, streaming, and even online casino have become very popular amongst people, and this trend is likely to remain as long as this virus forces people to stay indoors.
Indian Film Festival of Melbourne moved to November
As said earlier, public events are not feasible under the current climate, which has led to a large number of high-profile events being postponed or canceled, across sectors. In the movie industry, the Cannes film festival was held online this year for the first time ever, while other media events have also gone online, such as the launch of Sony’s next-gen gaming console, the PlayStation 5. Sticking to movies, one of the most popular movie industries in the world, the Indian film industry, has also seen events being moved due to the virus. While movie theatres remain closed across India, quite a few upcoming flicks are being released on streaming platforms, while abroad, there have been postponements of Indian film festivals. One such festival, the Indian Film Festival in Melbourne (IFFM), which celebrated its 10th edition last year, has now been moved to November.
This edition of the IFFM will be held from 30th October to 7th November, having been rescheduled from the original dates in August. It will also be a shorter event, with the IFFM Awards Gala being postponed to 2021. Nevertheless, the organizers are intent on offering the best experience at the festival, and so this year’s event will have the IFFM Film Club, where fans of Indian movies can sign up for virtual discussions with some leading filmmakers to discuss their work.
It will work like a book club, where the participants will be asked to watch a particular film, and then be given the opportunity to have a conversation with that film’s director about the movie. The likes of Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Onir and Raju Hirani have been part of this Film Club in the past, and while this year’s participants have still not been announced, it is sure to have some of the biggest names in the Indian industry coming forward to have a conversation around the process and the making of some of their iconic movies.