(Image courtesy of Joe Bowman/Frameline)

Frameline — one of the world’s most highly regarded LGBTQ+ film festivals — announced Tuesday that it is postponing its 44th San Francisco Bay Area program originally set for mid-to-late June.

Organizers will reschedule it for the fall, which is already getting jammed with delayed or truncated springtime festivals due to the coronavirus.

The festival follows in the footsteps of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the International Ocean Film Festival,  the Center for Asian American Media festival and San Jose’s Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival by moving to later in 2020.

In the case of Cinequest, organizers brought to a halt its season around the midway point in March, and plan on resuming its cinematic celebration in August.

The San Francisco International Film Festival made the hard decision to cancel its April program, but are looking at innovative ways to promote and preserve its carefully curated program that honors the best from films near and far.

“The safety of our beloved audiences, staff, filmmakers and community partners must come first,” said James Woolley, executive director of Frameline. (Photo courtesy of Frameline)

In a prepared statement, Frameline Executive Director James Woolley said: “Since its inception in 1977, Frameline has welcomed audiences to celebrate the power of queer cinema alongside Pride celebrations in the month of June.

“While Pride month remains the spiritual home of the festival, we look forward to bringing the community together at a later date, to connect with the most vibrant and diverse LGBTQ+ storytellers in film,” he said.

“The safety of our beloved audiences, staff, filmmakers and community partners must come first,” he added.

In addition, Frameline organizers are brainstorming creative ways to support the LGBTQ+ filmmaking community and are also establishing the Frameline2020 Fund to help critical donations to festivals lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help, visit https://www.frameline.org/support/donate.

Other high-profile film festivals coming up include the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (July 18-Aug. 4) and the Mill Valley Film Festival in October.