When the initial lockdowns hit last year, the film industry was terribly impacted. Many festivals shifted to the digital mode while others shut down completely. After recent relaxations, prestigious film festivals were held once again throughout 2021, but the recent surge in Covid cases has made festival organisers think twice.
With the new variant finding its way around the globe at a rapid pace, restrictions are now being imposed in various parts of the world with many educational institutions and offices shifting back to the digital mode. Mass gatherings are being impacted again, like the recent World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship where participants tested positive in the middle of the tournament.
The latest development in the film festival circuit is that the Palm Springs Film Festival has announced that they are no longer going to go ahead with physical screenings. Although the event was set to happen in January, it was pushed back to February and March before ultimately being cancelled due to fears about the new Covid variant and the surge.
A representative for the festival said this in a statement: “After thoughtful consideration, the Film Society feels this is the most responsible decision to ensure the safety of our patrons, filmmakers, and staff.” They also announced that the people who have purchased tickets need not worry because refunds will be issued promptly.
Many were excited about the festival because of its lineup which had some of the best films of 2021, including the likes of Petite Maman by Céline Sciamma and I’m Your Man by Maria Schrader. Nicole Kidman was also set to receive the Career Achievement Award at the film festival after her starring turn as Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos.
Watch the trailer for Being the Ricardos below.