The Palm Springs International Film Festival has canceled its 2021 edition due to coronavirus concerns, with plans to return for 2022, organizers have confirmed. But the film awards will move forward on Feb. 25, with details still to be discussed.
A letter announcing the decision went out Monday to the festival’s board members, signed by board chair Harold Matzner, managing director Rhea Lewis-Woodson, and artistic director Lili Rodriguez . Palm Springs’ ABC affiliate KESQ first reported the news Monday morning.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of our lives in profound ways but we have not stopped believing that cinema has the power to change our hearts and minds,” the letter reads. “We stand by that truth and commit to continue our efforts in bringing film to our community.”
Organizers had announced in July that the 32nd edition of the event would push back from its original Jan. 7 opening date “to ensure the health and safety of our patrons, staff, filmmaker guests and partners and to make sure we can have a memorable and enjoyable festival experience.” The 2021 edition of the festival was set to run Feb. 25 to March 8.
The Palm Springs ShortFest is still scheduled for June 22-28, 2021.
Though the film festival itself will not continue forward this year, the film awards ceremony will carry on in some form in 2021. Honorees have not yet been announced.
In pre-pandemic years, the star-studded awards event has been one of the first major stops of the awards season and, last year, honored eventual Oscar winners Renée Zellweger, Joaquin Phoenix and Laura Dern, as well as nominees Antonio Banderas, Cynthia Erivo, Adam Driver, Charlize Theron and director Martin Scorsese.
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