The coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to spread across the globe, casting doubt on the fates of events everywhere. In the entertainment world, the biggest casualty so far is SXSW, which cancelled its upcoming edition (March 13–22, Austin, Texas) and subsequently laid off one-third of its staff.

At the time of writing, only one major international animation event has announced a cancellation, but the uncertainty has caused general confusion and concern from industry professionals and filmmakers who are planning to attend these events. Several festivals have issued statements, which we’re republishing below, about the current status of their events.

Stay tuned to Cartoon Brew as the current global situation is dynamic and the status of these events may change.

Annecy Festival (June 15–20, France), the world’s largest international animation festival, released a short statement on its website:

The Annecy Festival is carefully monitoring the developments and the latest guidelines provided by the local, national and international authorities regarding the coronavirus. As of today, it is still premature to express assumptions on an event scheduled in three and a half months.

In due course, and depending on the occurrences, the Annecy Festival will naturally take all the necessary measures, aiming at ensuring the protection of all attendees and preserving their health during the event, under the responsibility of public authorities.

FMX, Germany’s major event dedicated to computer animation, games, visual effects, and immersive media, has cancelled this year’s edition, which had been set for May 5-8. This is their statement:

It is with great regret that we have to inform you that this year’s FMX, scheduled for May 5 to 8, 2020, cannot take place due to the continuing global spreading of the Corona virus.

Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg is acting upon the current guidelines of the Robert Koch-Institut for the risk assessment of large-scale events. After consultation, the Office for Public Order of Stuttgart considers the decision to cancel FMX as being plausible in the light of infection prevention.

Taking this step has been very difficult for us but necessary as the health of our international and national partners, guests, speakers, visitors, and team members is our highest priority.

We hope for your understanding and look forward to welcoming you at the 25th anniversary edition of FMX from May 4 to 7, 2021, in Stuttgart.

The Stuttgart Trickfilm International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) (May 5–10, Germany), has been cancelled, after initially releasing a statement that it would still take place. The organizers are now devising a plan to put on an online edition. Here is the festival’s latest statement:

It is with great regret and due to the spreading of the coronavirus that we, Film- und Medienfestival gGmbH, announce the cancellation of the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) scheduled for May 5 to 10, 2020. This is based on the immediately effective and indefinite decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration Baden-Württemberg of Wednesday, March 11, 2020 to the Public Health Departments, according to which large-scale events involving more than 1,000 people must be cancelled as well as today’s decision of the state capital Stuttgart, according to which events in culture, education, sports and leisure as well as meetings, even with less than 1,000 participants, are prohibited with immediate effect.

In the past few days we have been in intensive exchange and close coordination with competent authorities as well as our board members and partners. To protect the health of our staff and audiences from the region and the whole world as well as anyone involved in our events has, of course, the highest priority for us, not only with regard to the current coronavirus threat.

The programme for this year’s ITFS has been established. So as to provide a platform for the more than 1,800 films from around the world submitted for competitions, we are planning a digital version of ITFS for the Festival period from May 5 to 10, 2020, and to make competition entries available for streaming / as video-on-demand. All ITFS 2020 competition entries will also be shown and judged on a big screen in the cinema at the 28th ITFS 2021. The jury meeting for ITFS 2020 will take place in the run-up to ITFS 2021. We would like to present and honour the winners of ITFS 2020 at the opening of the 28th ITFS on May 4, 2021. Thus, our enthusiastic ITFS audiences – locally and globally – will have the pleasure to view the best of recent animated films in the categories short film (International Competition), feature film (AniMovie), student film (Young Animation), and children’s film (Tricks for Kids) in spite of the Festival cancellation in virtual form. On the other hand, the ITFS 2020 competition films will have the opportunity to be screened in 2021 under the best presentation conditions. This also applies to the new competition section “Trickstar Nature”. All further supporting and special programmes shall be presented at ITFS 2021 – as far as possible.

Berlin’s Pictoplasma conference on character design (May 13–17, Germany) published a statement on Twitter:

In view of the current developments around the Covid-19 outbreak, we have received an increasing number of inquiries regarding the upcoming 16th Pictoplasma Festival in Berlin this May 13–17, 2020. We would like to assure you that we are monitoring the development very closely and take our responsibility towards our attendees, speakers, partners, and team very serious.

As of now, the local health authorities’ current risk assessment is rated as moderate, everyday life in Berlin is pretty much business as usual, and all European festivals and events comparable in size and scale are set to take place. So far mainly some large conventions and fairs exceeding one thousand attendees are being postponed, many of them towards spring (end of May/beginning of June), when the situation is expected to possibly calm down. This is basically when Pictoplasma is scheduled to take place.

So in short, while we continuously pay close attention to the development, based on the current state of knowledge we remain in full preparation mode, and look forward to welcome you all this coming spring.

Animafest Zagreb (June 8–13, Croatia) provided the following statement to Cartoon Brew:

World Festival of Animated Film — Animafest Zagreb team is closely monitoring the developments regarding the coronavirus epidemic. As it is three months before the beginning of the festival, we will continue our work undeterred hoping that the situation will improve and the festival will go according to plan.

Today (March 10) we have announced our first selection results, and are keeping our fingers crossed that we will host all these fantastic filmmakers and present their amazing works to our festival audience.

UPDATE: Monstra, Lisbon Animated Film Festival has postponed its 2020 edition, which had been scheduled to take place March 18-29. The Portuguese festival reports that municipal authorities have closed the venues for the event until at least April, which makes it impossible to hold the festival on its scheduled dates. Monstra would have celebrated its 20th edition this year, and the organizers wrote in a statement (published below) that they still intend to hold this year’s edition at a later date:

Monstra festival announcement

Additionally, Meknes International Animated Film Festival (FICAM) (March 20-25, Morocco), has cancelled this year’s edition, which was to have been its nineteenth year. The organizers released the following statement in French:

Suite à la circulaire du Ministère de la Culture, de la Jeunesse et des Sports, porte-parole officiel du gouvernement, applicable du 05 au 31 Mars 2020, qui annule tous les festivals ayant lieu durant le mois de mars afin de limiter les risques de propagation du coronavirus, La Fondation Aïcha est dans le regret de vous informer de l’annulation de la 19ème édition du FICAM.

UPDATE (03/12/20): Animation Dingle (March 20–21, Ireland) has cancelled its eighth edition, shortly after announcements that all schools in Ireland would close. The conference and festival will still hand out its Animation Dingle Student and the Young Animator of the Year awards behind closed doors on March 20. It published the following message to Twitter:

Animation Dingle closure

Cartoon Business (March 24–26, Spain), a professional seminar focusing on financing and revenue models for animated series, has been postponed to December 9–11. It will take place in the same venue on the island of Gran Canaria.

The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards (March 22, L.A., California) have been indefinitely postponed. Nickelodeon issued the following statement:

The Kids’ Choice Awards scheduled for March 22, 2020, in Los Angeles is being postponed in consideration of the safety and wellbeing of every person involved with the show, which is our top priority. We will have further information about a new date in the future.

After initially cutting back its program, the GLAS Animation Festival (March 19–22, Berkeley, California) has now been entirely cancelled. The organizers sent out the following statement on Thursday afternoon:

As the situation with COVID-19 is developing at such a fast rate, we have decided that, between the travel restrictions and statewide mandates on public gatherings, it would be too much of a public health risk to hold the GLAS Animation Festival this year.

We are utterly heartbroken at not being able to share this year’s wonderful selection of films in Berkeley. We are actively exploring scenarios for the near future in which we will hold special screenings of this year’s competition films and follow through with any Jury Awards. GLAS isn’t going anywhere, and expect some exciting announcements from us soon.

As we mentioned in our previous email this morning, we are more than happy to push attendee passes to the 2021 edition of the festival. Many of the same guests from the 2020 edition have already committed to appearing in 2021, including Caroline Leaf and Mike Judge. It is not an exaggeration to state that cancelling this year’s festival is extremely difficult for our organization, as we are a small arts non-profit that relies heavily on pass sales to operate. We also understand you may want a full pass refund, which we will gladly provide. Please let us know your preference as soon as possible.

Needless to say, we are saddened to be delivering this news. GLAS is a homegrown, from-the-heart endeavor, so cancelling this year’s festival weighs heavily on us. Our small team has been working tirelessly, especially in the last few months leading up to the festival, to bring you the very best in the world of animation.

We couldn’t be more proud of the community that has formed around the festival that shares our love for this medium and makes the festival so special every year. You’ll hear more from us as soon as possible.

Thank you for your support and understanding, and we’ll see you at GLAS 2021.

(Pictured at top: The Annecy animation festival.)