28th annual French Film Festival postponed to 2021 due to coronavirus concerns

The 28th French Film Festival, hosted by VCU and the University of Richmond, has been postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns. CT file photo.

Iman Mekonen, Spectrum Editor

The French Film Festival, an annual celebration of French film hosted at the Byrd Theatre, has announced plans to postpone the festival to March 18-21, 2021.

The festival was scheduled for March 26-28 but canceled due to concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak and VCU’s plans to extend spring break and move classes to online. The organizers plan to merge what would have been the 28th annual festival with the 29th annual festival next year. 

This is the first year, since their start in 1993, that the festival will not be hosting their annual event and other celebrations. 

The French Film Festival was created by Peter and Françoise Kirkpatrick, professors of French literature, culture and film studies at VCU and the University of Richmond, respectively. 

According to the festival’s website, it was created “to gauge the true interest in the latest French film productions largely unknown to audiences in an average-sized American city.”

The festival’s main location is the Byrd Theatre, which recently announced a temporary suspension on all films and the cancellation of all special events.

As stated in a press release from festival organizers, the French directors, actors, music composers and screenwriters who were expected to attend are confirming with the festival that the dates next year fit with their schedules. 

“The Festival is utmost concerned with the well-being of students, teachers, staff, Festival passholders, French guests and the community at-large,” the release noted.

According to its website, the French Film Festival often collaborates and partners with cinema schools in both France and the U.S.

The 2020 VIP, student and other special passes will be honored for the 2021 festival. 

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