Moviemaker Oren Moverman has cancelled a scheduled trip to the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain due to a "personal tragedy".
The Messenger director was due to attend the annual event to promote his upcoming film Rampart after confessing it was his "dream" to be part of the festivities.
But he had no choice but to pull out - because his loved ones need his support in New York.
In an email sent to festival bosses Moverman writes, "I hoped to become the kind of filmmaker who is invited to attend. I received the festival's invitation with great joy and I want you to know that a personal tragedy prevented me from attending.
"The film you will see tonight is about many aspects of being a man, but at its center is a family; the emotional core of the film lies with children, it's where my heart lies as well. And this is a time in my life when my own family needs me and so I stayed in New York."
And Moverman feels so guilty about failing to attend the talk on his new film he has invited fans to personally email him for any feedback about the project.
He adds, "If I may, I would like to extend an invitation to you. I hope Rampart speaks to you, and I am so sorry I can't be there to talk with you about it. So I would like to give you my email address - no joke! Please write to me if you have a question, comment or a complaint about the film.
"I will be more than happy to write back to you. It will be our virtual, personal question and answer session and it will make up somewhat for my guilt of absence."