October 20, 2021 1:08pm
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Two people who attended the BFI London Film Festival over the weekend have tested positive for Covid-19, prompting organizers to send a letter to guests they believe were in contact to recommend they be tested.
Among those who received letters this evening were attendees of Sunday’s closing-night screening of The Tragedy of Macbeth at the Royal Festival Hall, and at the after-party at The Londoner hotel in Leicester Square.
The festival said in the letter that he positive results were from “a small number of people” who attended, with a BFI spokesperson saying today that the fest was prompted to act by two confirmed positive tests. (Read the letter below.)
“Of course we aren’t exactly sure but timing suggests the weekend, and we are contacting everyone who has potentially been in contact with those who have tested positive,” the spokesperson said.
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Among those who were at those events were Macbeth director Joel Coen and star Frances McDormand, along with most of the British cast of the film. Riz Ahmed was among those seen at the after-party. There is no information on who tested positive.
There was no social distancing at the Sunday screening and masks are optional per UK law, even as cases are on the rise there. The busy after-party was on a basement level of the hotel so exclusively indoors.
Large-scale events like festivals and premieres have used various methods to protect attendees from the virus. The Toronto Film Festival reported a positive case stemming from a press conference during its September edition. More recently, several castmembers of Disney/Marvel’s Eternals had to bow out of events after they were potentially exposed to Covid earlier in the week at the film’s Hollywood premiere. All have tested negative.
Here’s the festival’s letter to guests that went out today:
Dear LFF Guest,
We hope you enjoyed the BFI London Film Festival this year and thank you for all your support.
As you will no doubt be aware, Covid-19 cases are on the rise nationally. It has come to our attention that a small number of people who attended the BFI London Film Festival have today tested positive for Covid-19. We believe you may have been in contact this weekend with someone who tested positive and are therefore recommending that you take a test to reduce the risk of unconsciously spreading the Covid-19 virus. Information on your testing options is here. Please also be mindful of when you should self-isolate.
Kind regards and stay safe,
The LFF Team
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