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The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another event: the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Fest organizer, the Palm Springs International Film Society, announced the news Wednesday citing “the current rise of COVID cases.” The festival was scheduled for Jan. 7-17 and the news comes after the fest had already scrapped plans for its starry Film Awards gala.
“After thoughtful consideration, the Film Society feels this is the most responsible decision to ensure the safety of our patrons, filmmakers and staff. Those who have purchased festival tickets and passes will receive a refund. For most, the refund will be returned to their original method of payment,” the Film Society said in a statement.
Per the Film Society, plans are still in place for the Palm Springs ShortFest, scheduled for June 21-27, and they made sure to note that the film festival and awards gala will return to an in-person event in January 2023. This year’s cancelation marks the second straight Palm Springs fest and awards gala to be nixed due to the pandemic after the 2021 edition. Like last year, Film Gala honorees will receive a virtual tribute in partnership with Entertainment Tonight.
PSIFF is also making sure that some of the films selected for the 2022 edition will get a spin in the spotlight as the jury will still announce award winners from the official selection Jan. 15 via a press release and on social media.
News for the desert festival follows a wave of cancellations for major industry events amid the Omicron surge. The Critics Choice Awards, the Governors Awards, AFI Awards, the Hollywood Critics Association Film Awards and the New York Film Critics Circle Awards have all been postponed while festivals, including Rotterdam and Slamdance, have shifted from in-person to online. Meanwhile, the Sundance Film Festival recently announced new protocols and booster and testing requirements.
A list of postponements and cancellations can be found here.
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