WACC, SIGNIS postpone European ecumenical TV festival amid coronavirus pandemic
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WACC, SIGNIS postpone European ecumenical TV festival amid coronavirus pandemic

The 20th European Festival of Religious TV and Online Programmes will not go ahead as scheduled this June in Helsinki, Finland. 

The postponement follows a wave of event cancellations worldwide due to the novel coronavirus Covid-19, which has affected more than 140 countries, including Finland. 

The festival, which was planned to be held June 10-12, 2020 with the theme, Belief on Screen, has been postponed to June 9-11, 2020, still in Helsinki, organizers said in an email.  

“As the organizers of the festival we are conscious of the risks and consequences of the virus and so, following the latest instructions given by Finnish public authorities, we are reluctantly obliged to postpone the festival,” said Stephen Brown of WACC Europe, and Joachim Opahle of SIGNIS Europe. 

Brown and Opahle encouraged this year’s participants to still take part in the festival next year, stating that it is “a special occasion for making contacts, building friendships and seeing the best of European religious television and online programmes.” 

The festival is organized by the European regions of WACC (World Association for Christian Communication) and SIGNIS (the World Catholic Association for Communication) in collaboration with the Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE, and Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland. 

Programs already submitted to the competition through FilmFreeway.com are automatically included in the new pre-selection without a new application, organizers said. The deadline for new submissions is also extended up to February 28, 2021.  

Those who wish to cancel their submission may do so by contacting the festival coordinator. 

All festival participants who have registered will be contacted, and their registration fee refunded.  “If you have already reserved the accommodation and / or flights, please remember to cancel them,” organizers added.  

The festival website www.tvfest.eu is open and will be updated on a regular basis.  

General questions and information can be raised via the festival’s Facebook page: SIGNIS-WACC European TV Festival of Religious Programmes or Twitter: @beliefonscreen. 

If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to the festival coordinator Mr Juha Rajamäkijuha.rajamaki@evl.fi 


Photo Above: Theatre director Esther Porcelijn from Tilburg, the Netherlands, with Rabbi Dalfin of the U.S. Chabad-Lubavitch, in a scene from Spot the Differences, which won the Prize for best programme at the European TV Festival of Religious Programmes in 2014.  Courtesy of WACC-SIGNIS European TV Festival of Religious Programmes

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