Washington D.C.: The International Melbourne Film Festival which was scheduled to be held in August this year has been cancelled over health concerns relating to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to Variety magazine, the organisers of the festival said that the accompanying events that used to take place with the festival have also been cancelled.
In an attempt to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, Australia is currently under a lockdown.
According to Variety magazine, 5,886 people have been tested positive for coronavirus in the country and the death toll stand at 46 as of April 7.
“The thought of a winter without MIFF in our city is a disorienting one; deeply disappointing to both our organization and, I’m sure, our community,” Variety magazine quoted MIFF artistic director Al Cossar.
“It is a decision that was very hard but plainly necessary, responsible and required given what we all face together at this moment,” added Cossar.
This year’s edition of the festival was scheduled to start on August 6.
“In the absence of the festival this year, MIFF is considering other means of maintaining its engagement with audiences. We will share details as they become available,” Variety quoted Cossar as saying.
Various other Australian festivals that have been halted due to the highly contagious virus include the Sydney Film Festival, Gold Coast Film Festival, and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.