2021 Palm Springs International Film Fest Postponed

2021 Palm Springs International Film Fest Postponed

Taylor Martinez


The 2021 Palm Springs International Film Festival is postponed due to the pandemic, organizers announced Monday.

The 32nd annual event was scheduled to take place Thursday, February 25, 2021 through Monday, March 8, 2021, but will now shift to 2022. 

The festival’s board member released a statement:

“Dear PSIFF Friends,

For 31 years, the Palm Springs International Film Festival has been bringing together an international community of filmmakers and film lovers to celebrate the riches that cinema presented that year. We’ve rushed into packed screening rooms, shared food and conversation and made lifelong connections with people standing in lines. This festival has been about sharing our love for movies, but even more, it’s been about creating personal connections for our audiences.

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. 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. We are still planning to celebrate and honor the best in cinema with our Film Awards Presentation on February 25, 2021 and plans for our annual short film festival scheduled for June 22-28, 2021 remain intact. Details on those will be shared before the end of the year.

Until then, we will continue our mission to share cinema through our Member and Community programs. Film Society Memberships will be extended to February 2022 at no additional cost. Memberships that include festival benefits will receive the festival benefits in January 2022. Memberships that include Film Awards Gala benefits will receive those benefits in either 2021 or 2022. Our year-round member screenings and events will continue virtually until we are able to safely be in theaters. And we are excited to work with our studio partners to bring you new film screenings and Q&As from your favorite directors and actors. Once theatres are safely able to open, we will end virtual screenings and resume Member screenings in-person.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of our lives in profound ways but we have not stopped believing that cinema has the power to change our hearts and minds. We stand by that truth and commit to continue our efforts in bringing film to our community.

Sincerely,

Harold Matzner, Chairman of the Board

Rhea Lewis-Woodson, Managing Director

Lili Rodriguez, Artistic Director”

“It’s been a lot of research, it’s been a lot of thinking and going back and forth. The first thing was changing the dates. You know we’re paying really close attention to all the guidelines, we want to make sure that the audience is safe and so this is what is looking good right now,” said Lili Rodriguez.

The event has had a large economic impact on the Coachella Valley for over three decades.

Palm Springs Mayor Geoff Kors is a non-voting member for the Film Festival’s board. He says this event will be missed.

“It’s so great for the valley and Palm Springs. All of our residents get to go to great films, it brings so many people here and, of course, the eyes of the world for the gala. But the film festival made a really responsible decision,” said Kors. 

Mayor Kors also says the valley will continue to miss out on opportunities, big and small, if the county remains in the purple, most restrictive tier.

“Hopefully we will do what we need to do so that we’re not in this position a year from now. And that’s going to really come down to what our residents and businesses do, and we need everyone here in the valley and the county to enforce the rules,” said Kors.

Organizers are still planning to celebrate this year’s great performances and films with their Film Awards Presentation on February 25, 2021.

Film Society Memberships will be extended to February 2022 at no additional cost.

Memberships that include festival benefits will receive the festival benefits in January 2022 and those with Film Awards Gala benefits will receive those benefits in either 2021 or 2022. 

Year-round member screenings and events will continue virtually until theatres are able to open.

As of right now, the Palm Springs ShortFest is still scheduled for June 22-28, 2021.

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