Brattleboro Film Festival cancels for 2020 due to pandemic

Local film series organizers urge participation in virtual Vermont International Film Festival

BRATTLEBORO — The ninth edition of the Brattleboro Film Festival (BFF) has become the latest casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

BFF organizers Merry Elder, Cyndi Rebelo, and Jaki Reis said in a statement that “after weighing all the factors, we have decided to suspend the festival for this year while we continue to explore options to bring films to our community both virtually and in person.”

“Theaters and film festivals across the country, including the Latchis Theatre and the Vermont International Film Festival (VTIFF), have adapted to our current reality, offering opportunities to view films in our own homes or while socially distanced in our beautiful local theater,” they continued. “We encourage you to check out their offerings.”

Since the start of the Brattleboro Film Festival, organizers have collaborated closely with the Latchis and the Burlington-based VTIFF.

BFF organizers are now steering film fans to the virtual festival that the statewide festival is staging from now until Nov. 1, as well as to VTIFF's monthly virtual screenings.

According to the VTIFF website, their 2020 festival has been scaled back due to the pandemic and will offer fiction and documentaries, both classical and contemporary.

“Rather than present, as in the past, 50 to 60 events showcasing independent films from around the world, the 2020 program will focus on a few of the essential issues that have always, and still do, concern committed journalism and its impact on the public: how have news media changed over the past 50 years - radio, print, cable, new media in its various forms - and how have films portrayed these changes,” the site explains.

VTIFF Executive Director Orly Yadin said that a virtual festival “has its upsides as well. It means that people all over Vermont (and the country) can [participate], not being hindered by geographical distance. We hope you join us this year and look forward to resuming our longstanding collaboration with the Brattleboro Film Festival next year.”

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates