Over the last six months, our nation has faced one of the most challenging times in our history. COVID-19 had and still has a tremendous impact on the United States. Specifically, New Jersey, the home of Churches Making Movies, is one of the states most adversely shaken by the pandemic. To date, New Jersey has reported 13,971 COVID-19 related deaths and 182,614 confirmed citizens infected with the virus. After careful consideration of these factors, we decided to reschedule the 2020 Churches Making Movies Film Festival scheduled for October 9-11, 2020 to October, 2021. Through much prayer and consideration, we felt this was in the best interest of our filmmakers, screenwriters and potential attendees. While we are aware that New Jersey is slowly reopening, several COVID-19 related factors influenced our decision.
1. As of today, there has not been an official date when indoor gatherings of 100 or more will be permitted.
2. Even if there was a date, the venue for the 2020 festival closed amid COVID-19 restrictions and precautions. There is not a clear date when the venue will reopen for any events, regardless of the number of people attending.
3. Because of the unpredictable nature of the virus, there is a possibility of what government officials refer to as a “second wave” of the virus, which could occur as early as this fall when the festival is scheduled to take place.
4. There is an inherent, yet understandable unpredictability of government orders which makes the planning component of the film festival quite difficult. This is uncharted territory and uncertain times for all of us, but we remain optimistic that CMM will thrive again in 2021. We’d like to personally thank all of the filmmakers and screenwriters for entrusting us with their projects and everyone who has supported the festival over the years. Most important, we pray for your well being and that of your families. Thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented time.
LaVonne McIver James
Exec. Director, CMM