SXSW Reveals Plans for Awards and Screenings Despite Coronavirus Shutdown

Since the threat of the coronavirus began, many events have been canceled or delayed ranging from comic cons to festivals. One big event that has been canceled over the outbreak is SXSW, the festival that focuses on film, interactive media, and music that takes place in Austin, Texas every year. The festival was set to feature an exciting line-up, ranging from appearances by Marvel stars to the debut of the documentary, CLERK. The cancelation affects many people, so it's no surprise to learn that SXSW has decided to move ahead with awards and online screenings. According to Variety, jurors will be able to watch movies online so that prizes can be awarded. The awards should be announced to the winning filmmakers on March 24th.

“This was going to [be] a transformative event, and with the cancellation, the filmmakers were left stranded and scrambling,” SXSW director of film, Janet Pierson, said in an announcement earlier today. “We had several Special Awards juries already in place via links, and since we are not able to present the event, we decided to continue and expand to all the juried competitions, if the majority of the filmmakers opted in and juries were available. We know it’s no substitute for the live SXSW event with its unique and fantastic audience, but at least it’s some way to get attention for these wonderful films.”

“We have been heartened by the efforts of so many in the film industry and wider film community to come together with offers to help SXSW projects by offering screening rooms, fee waivers, and so many ways,” Pierson added. “We are continuing to explore other ways to support the paths of the SXSW 2020 Official Selection films and filmmakers in this new environment.”

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The spread of the COVID-19 has caused wide-scale disruption across the entertainment industry. Warner Bros. canceled the premiere of Superman: Red Son. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has delayed production. Riverdale has delayed production. Disney parks have shut down. Netflix is struggling to film Dwayne Johnson's new movie, Red Notice. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson both tested positive for coronavirus. The Game Developers Conference canceled its 2020 event after a series of company pullouts. London Book Fair was canceled. This year's SXSW was also canceled. Here's a current list of the television productions that have been shut down, and here's a list of the films that have been postponed.

For those who are worried about the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC offers a litany of tips, including covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding large gatherings or close contact with people who are sick, and washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

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