The Ramdam Film Festival in Belgium has been canceled due to terrorist threats against the theater where it was being held.
According to local media outlets, authorities said that the risk of an attack against the Imagix Cinema in Tournai was “at a very high level.” As a result, the theater was evacuated on Thursday, and it will remain closed until Jan. 28 as authorities continue to investigate.
The festival was scheduled to run between Jan. 20 and Jan. 27. The line-up included Abderrahmane Sissako’s Best Foreign Language film Oscar nominee “Timbuktu,” a drama exploring the brief occupation of the West African city by militant Islamic rebels, as well as documentary “The Essence Of Terror” and “Two Days One Night,” which scored star Marion Cotillard another Oscar nomination this year.
“We take note of the court decision this afternoon to close the Imagix complex for the duration of the festival. We deplore and deeply regret having had to announce to the audience in theaters,” festival organizers said in a statement. “Since its creation in 2011, the Festival Ramdam gave the floor to plural sensitivities and advocated values of openness to the world, dialogue, tolerance, freedom and exchange. Its success with a growing audience and the artists support are proof of the commitment of all to freedom of expression.”
The terror threats follow the violence that erupted in Paris earlier this month when gunmen entered the offices of satirical print publication Charlie Hebdo and killed 12 people. In Belgium a week later, authorities raided a hideout of suspected Jihadists in Belgium’s eastern city of Verviers, where two suspects planning what officials said was an imminent and substantial terrorist attack were killed.