Organizers have canceled the 2022 Palm Springs International Film Festival over Covid fears. The event, which had been set for January 7-17 in the desert city east of Los Angeles, already had canceled its January 6 awards gala.
The 2021 event also was canceled after initially being pushed to a February-March run.
Here is today’s announcement from a rep for the festival:
Based on the current rise of COVID cases, the Palm Springs International Film Society has announced that the Film Festival will not take place this year from January 7-17. This follows the cancellation of the January 6 Film Awards. 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.
At this time Palm Springs ShortFest is scheduled to return June 21-27, 2022. The Film Festival and Film Awards will return to an in-person event in January 2023. The Film Awards will partner with Entertainment Tonight to celebrate this year’s honorees with details to follow. The festival will announce juried award winners from the official selection on January 15 via press release and social media.
The cancellation is the latest amid a surge of new Covid cases, fueled by the more-contagious Omicron variant. Numerous Broadway shows have canceled performances, and some countries have closed movie theaters or banned concessions as the world grapples with the latest wave of coronavirus.
Attention now turns to other upcoming events including the Berlin International Film Festival, which as of last week still was planning to hold its in-person fest from February 10-20 despite the International Film Festival Rotterdam being scrapped.
Next month’s Palm Springs Film Festival was set to feature 129 films, opening with the documentary Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over and closing with Roger Michell’s final film The Duke. The director died in September.
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PSIFF’s Awards Gala had been planning to honor the likes of Being the Ricardos star Nicole Kidman (Lifetime Achievement Award), Adam Driver (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor), along with Belfast (Vanguard Award), presented to writer and director Kenneth Branagh and cast members Caitríona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds and Jude Hill; Jane Campion (Director of the Year Award); Jessica Chastain (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress); Penélope Cruz (International Star Award, Actress); Andrew Garfield (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor); Jennifer Hudson (Chairman’s Award); King Richard (Ensemble Performance Award) presented to cast members Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Jon Bernthal and Tony Goldwyn; Kristen Stewart (Spotlight Award, Actress); and Lady Gaga (Icon Award).