UNITED STATES—Telluride Film Festival organizers announced on Tuesday, July 14, the cancellation of this year’s event. 

Alongside the Venice Film Festival in Italy, Telluride is the first major fall film festival in what is considered “Oscar” season. The 47th edition of the Colorado event was scheduled to take place over Labor Day weekend on September 3-7.

While the event’s cancellation is due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, organizers said they “had a very good plan” to safely hold the event. 

“But with a seemingly unending number of new cases of COVID-19 and the national chaos around it, even the best strategy is threatened by this out of control environment,” organizers said in a statement. 

“No matter how much many of us wear our masks and observe social distancing protocols, the pandemic has worsened rather than improved and the health and safety of you – our passholders, filmmakers, the people of Telluride and its surrounding areas – cannot be compromised.”

Organizers are encouraging the public to seek the year’s list of titles in other film festivals during the fall, such as the “New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, or Venice Film Festival.”

On July 8, organizers from those festivals, along with Telluride, issued a statement saying they would “move away from competing with our colleagues at autumn festivals and commit instead to collaboration.”

“We believe cinema has a unique power to illuminate both the world around us, and our innermost perceptions. In a crisis, films can transport us,” organizers said. “They can enchant, inform, provoke and heal. As we work through challenging circumstances this summer to prepare our festivals, we will work together, in support of film.”

A number of film festivals have been delayed, cancelled, or gone virtual since the start of the health crisis.

The Toronto International Film Festival is still scheduled to run from September 10-20.

“The pandemic has hit TIFF hard, but we’ve responded by going back to our original inspiration — to bring the very best in film to the broadest possible audience,” said Artistic Director and Co-Head of TIFF Cameron Bailey.