Montreal World Film Festival abruptly cancelled weeks before opening
The annual Montreal World Film Festival has been cancelled, just over a month ahead of its planned start.
The festival, going into its 43rd edition, was supposed to run Aug. 23 to Sept. 3.
The organization sent out a news release Monday saying that the festival is "taking a break this year to prepare a great edition in 2020."
It did not provide any more detail about why the event would not go ahead.
According to the release, no films were selected for this year's festival.
The festival has undergone a difficult couple of years, beginning in 2014 when the City of Montreal, SODEC and Telefilm all withdrew their funding.
Two years later, Cineplex pulled its support for the festival following a mass exodus of the festival's employees.
In a letter, the employees cited "financial uncertainty" and "incompetent leadership" as the reason for their sudden resignation, specifically mentioning festival president and founder Serge Losique.
Losique, 88, appeared in court last July to defend the festival against a Quebec government tax bill of $499,999.
The festival has been marred by financial issues for years and was also in litigation with SODEC, Quebec's arts funding body, over money it borrowed in 2010.
Losique was not available for an interview Monday, citing "extreme tiredness."