Palm Springs Cancels 2021 Festival But Will Keep Its Film Awards Gala Date

Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival Society said Monday that it has canceled its 32nd annual Palm Springs Film Festival that had most recently been scheduled for February 25-March 8, 2021. The organizers did say that the fest’s annual Film Awards gala will still take place as planned.

Unlike the virtual or hybrid events like those undertaken by other fests on the circuit this year adjusting to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers here opted for a full cancel and and try again in 2022. That means PSIFF’s strong lineup of international features that traditionally are vying for Oscar nominations around that time of year won’t get that platform in 2021.

The society said its Palm Springs ShortFest remains scheduled for June 22-28, 2021.

“As we reach the end of the year, it is clear that we will not be able to present the film festival the way we have over the past 31 years” the festival said in updating its website today. “This is not an easy choice but we have made the decision to skip the 2021 edition. Rest assured we plan to be back in 2022 when we can hopefully be together safely again in theaters.”

The annual Film Awards gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center has been a major fundraiser for the society, as well as a must-stop on the seasonal awards circuit with its honorary awards and dedicated tables for studio brass. Details on that event, still set for February 25, are still being worked out.

It’s the latest tweak to the awards-season lineup that has been upended by the pandemic. The Oscars are April 25, the latest they’ve ever been. This year’s Palm Springs Film Awards gala, which usually opens the festival in early January, is scheduled the Thursday before the February 28 Golden Globes.

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