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 glitzy film awards gala will continue.
Palm Springs’ ABC affiliate KESQ first reported the news Monday morning, citing a letter signed by Board Chair Harold Matzner, Managing Director Rhea Lewis-Woodson, and Artistic Director Lili Rodriguez sent to the festival’s board members. According to KESQ, the decision to cancel the fest was set to be formalized in a board meeting.
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 – March 8, with the annual film awards gala on Feb. 25 and the first full days of film screenings beginning Feb. 26th.
Though the film festival itself will not continue forward this year, the film awards gala will carry on. Honorees have not yet been announced. The star-studded event is 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.