How did Covid-19 force the Sydney Film Festival 2020 to shut?

For the first time in 70 years, the Sydney Film Festival will not light up the winter. The decision was inevitable but emotionally brutal.

The wound is still raw at the Sydney Film Festival and artistic director Nashen Moodley is watching his colleagues around the world wrestle the same problems, but CEO Leigh Small is clear about the decision. 

‘The board and the senior team have been talking about this for several weeks now.’ she explained. ”We were looking at the possibilities of scaling back or postponing and all the ramifications around that. Also into consideration came the ability to get films,  the public sentiment about attending large events and an estimation of how long this current crisis would go on for. We came to a very clear decision that the trigger would be around government decisions about Covid-19.’

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David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.