By Tyler Aquilina
May 30, 2020 at 12:10 PM EDT
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Movie lovers, rejoice with caution (and maybe ambivalence): We may still have a fall film festival circuit this year.

With the Venice Film Festival still scheduled to proceed in September, festival organizers have announced that the 2020 edition of Telluride will go on as well. The festival will begin on Thursday, Sept. 3, rather than the usual Friday, as part of additional safety precautions this year.

“We are not ignorant of the devastation facing the world. We feel the fear and distress too. This is why we are committed to observing all guidance as suggested by the consensus of voices of the scientific community with whom we are consulting now. This will not be a business as usual event. Things will look and feel very different," the organizers said in a statement. "We’re hard at work to provide a safe and joyous environment that will include an extra day to allow more space within and between screenings, along with all of the necessary safety tweaks and adjustments you’ve become very familiar with, regardless of where you call home."

Telluride is one of the major film festival sites of the fall season, along with Venice, New York, and Toronto, which all serve as important steps in building awards-season momentum. (Any film that hopes to score a Best Picture Oscar nomination will almost certainly play at one or all of these festivals.) Of course, regardless of whether the festivals proceed, the question of whether any films will screen there remains. Netflix has already announced that it will skip the festival circuit entirely this year, and the Academy has approved new rules allowing films forced to cancel their theatrical releases to still qualify for Best Picture.

“For those of you who opt to not join us, we absolutely understand and support this decision," Telluride organizers acknowledged. "Your reasons surely involve heightened personal health concerns and you must do what is the very best for you. We trust and hope you’ll be back with us the next time we can provide optimal conditions for the SHOW. May that be soon.”

This announcement comes in the midst of We Are One: A Global Film Festival, a virtual event showcasing films curated by 21 major festivals including Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance,  Toronto, and Tribeca, on YouTube. The 2020 Cannes Film Festival, which was originally scheduled for May, is reportedly exploring options for a window later this summer.

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