Kumail Nanjiani and Patricia Arquette have taken to social media to react to the cancellation of the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival due to coronavirus fears.
City of Austin officials declared on Friday that the annual multimedia festival had been cancelled in the interest of public safety due to the escalating coronavirus outbreak.
Studio films such as Judd Apatow’s The King of Staten Island and David Lowery’s The Green Knight were scheduled to premiere at the event, which was due to kick off on 13 March, and many smaller films without distribution deals have now been cast adrift, with filmmakers looking for new festivals to debut their projects.
Reacting to the news on Twitter, The Big Sick star Nanjiani, who stars in The Lovebirds, praised SXSW officials for making the right decision.
“SXSW is one of my favourite festivals,” he wrote. “I know this sucks for many people for whom this was a massive opportunity. But we’re kind of in an unprecedented situation here and caution is key. Thank you for making the right decision.”
Arquette felt sympathy for the filmmakers who were set to showcase their latest work at the festival, such as her brother David.
“So sad for the filmmakers and my brother @DavidArquette Who was premiering his amazing documentary ‘You Cannot Kill David Arquette,'” she tweeted.
Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson wrote, “The cancelling of SXSW is a devastating blow to a lot of indie filmmakers who were set to finally premiere their hard work. My heart goes out to you all,” while actor/director Mark Duplass posted, “My heart goes out to all those affected by the @sxsw cancellation. So vital to so many artists, organisations, businesses, etc. Let’s order from local Austin businesses. Let’s support the SXSW artists. Let’s take care of each other.”
Announcing the cancellation of the event, organisers said in a statement, “We are devastated to share this news with you. ‘The show must go on’ is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place… We honour and respect the City of Austin’s decision. We are committed to doing our part to protect our staff, attendees, and fellow Austinites.”
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