Palm Springs Film Festival Canceled Amid COVID-19 Surge

Rich Fury/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Festival

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Palm Springs International Film Festival -- which was to take place Jan. 7 through Jan. 17 -- has officially been canceled.

The announcement was made Wednesday, and follows the cancellation of the film festival's Film Awards, which had been scheduled for Jan. 6.

"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," the festival's statement read. "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."

While the main festival will not go on in 2022, organizers still plan to hold ShortFest in the summer.

"At this time Palm Springs ShortFest is scheduled to return June 21-27, 2022," the statement continued, as well as a proposed return for the main festival in 2023. "The Film Festival and Film Awards will return to an in-person event in January 2023."

Meanwhile, Film Awards honorees, such as Kristen Stewart, Andrew Garfield, Lady Gaga, Jessica Chastain, Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz, will still be honored this year in partnership with Entertainment Tonight "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 statement concluded.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival is the latest event cancellation or postponement due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Last week, the Critics Choice Awards, which were set for Jan. 9 in Los Angeles, announced that it would delay the awards ceremony to a later date. Fox canceled their New Year's celebration and the Motion Picture Academy postponed the Governors Awards ceremony, which was scheduled to take place Jan. 15. No new date has been announced.

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