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Palm Springs International Film Festival Event Cancelled Due to COVID-19

Palm Springs International Film Festival

Thanks to the Omicron variant, COVID-19 cases are spiking in California that generating fears of the outbreak. In one of the earliest film festivals of the year, Palm Springs International Film Festival announced its complete cancellation of the event that was supposed to take place from January 7-17.

The full cancellation followed its earlier announcement of the cancellation of the January 6 Film Awards.

In a statement, the film festival issued the message with “After thoughtful consideration, the Film Society feels this is the most responsible decision to ensure the safety of our patrons, filmmakers, and staff.”

For the festival-goers who already purchased tickets and passes, they will receive a refund through their original method of payment.

For now, Palm Springs ShortFest is on schedule to return June 21-27 this year. Optimistically, the Palm Springs International Film Festival hopes to return to an in-person event in January 2023.

The festival honors many films, actors, and directors. This year’s honorees will be announced on January 15 via press release a\on social media.

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This news is troublesome for film festivals hoping to return to normalcy in 2022. Slamdance Film Festival already announced that it will be a virtual festival. Meanwhile, the anticipated Sundance Film Festival is still happening as a hybrid event with both virtual and in-person screenings.

Despite the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, institutions and governments are divided on the handling of this stage of the pandemic. The cases are breaking records, but hospitalizations and deaths are declining. The concern is the Omicron variant can spread to the unvaccinated and cause hospitalizations. In California, the number of infected cases reach its highest this week in four months.

Here’s hoping that no more festivals follow suit and that we are at the peak of the Omicron variant.

Source: Palm Springs International Film Festival

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