March 18, 2020

Coronavirus Compels Postponement of iREP Festival

The yearly gathering of cineastes in Lagos, focused on screening documentary films, will not happen on the usual dates this year.

The opening of the iREPRESENT INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL has been postponed from tomorrow and the festival itself has been pushed forward indefinitely.

So, yesterday  evening, there was no ice-breaker screening of Supo Shasore’s Journey to An African Colony:  THE MAKING OF NIGERIA’, formerly scheduled to welcome Festival guests at the Kongi Harvest Gallery of the Freedom Park on Broad Street, Lagos Island.

There will be no Festival, as originally planned, from this noon (March 19)  to Sunday (March 22)

The organizers have “taken the hard decision to postpone” the year 2020 edition of the popular festival “indefinitely”, says Femi Odugbemi, the event’s ignition key. “Over the past weeks, the world has been facing an unprecedented challenge”, he explains.

“As a responsible organization that takes safety seriously, we want to do all we can to help keep our country and our participants safe and healthy”, the Executive Director notes.

Odugbemi: “We can’t have a gathering now…”

“We clearly understand the preparation that may have gone into the decision to attend the festival. We commend the loyalty of our long standing partners and international collaborators, but to see that a lot of our resource persons and guests outside of Nigeria would not be able to make it to the festival is quite unfortunate, and moving the festival to a later date when we might all be able to celebrate the 10th anniversary of iREP Film Festival together, is a good course of action”

“We have constantly followed global developments on COVID-19 and have been monitoring appropriate sources for accurate and up-to-date information, and we believe our decision is the responsible thing to do, more so as we are expecting guests from Europe and America.

Going forward, we would continuously monitor the situation and evaluate the risk actively. A new date would be communicated to the public very soon.

“We recognize that this is a challenging period globally, much as we are committed to the Arts, we are equally committed to the safety of our guests, staff and our country”, the statement noted.

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