Coronavirus compels organisers to postpone 2020 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, scheduled to take place on Thursday, has been postponed indefinitely.

The postponement put paid to the screening of Supo Shasore’s Journey to An African Colony:  The Making of Nigeria, which was earlier scheduled to welcome guests to the venue, at Kongi Harvest Gallery, Freedom Park on Broad Street, Lagos Island.

The Executive director, Femi Odugbemi, in a statement, said the organisers of the festival took a “hard” decision to postpone the 2020 edition “indefinitely”.

HE said,“Over the past weeks, the world has been facing an unprecedented challenge. As a responsible organisation that takes safety seriously, we want to do all we can to help keep our country and our participants safe and healthy.

“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.