Even though the arrival of vaccines brings a small ray of hope, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to give film festival organizers a hard time.
The first event of the year in the calendar of major international cinema events, the Sundance Film Festival will take place as planned from January 28 to February 3. But after having juggled the possibility of presenting a few screenings in drive-ins, the organizers finally decided to opt for an entirely virtual edition.
The Berlin Film Festival also had to modify its plans for 2021. A virtual edition will be organized from 1er to March 5 for people in the industry. Screenings of the selected films will then be offered to the public in June.
Last year, the Cannes Film Festival was canceled for the first time in more than 50 years due to the pandemic. Even if COVID-19 is still very present in France, the organizers of the largest film festival in the world assure that the event will indeed take place this year. But they recently admitted that the party (slated for May) could be pushed back to the summer to allow spectators to come together in theaters.
In Quebec, since most film festivals take place at the end of summer or in the fall, their organizers are fortunate to still have a lot of time in front of them to assess the situation. Nevertheless, out of prudence, they are all working on “hybrid” formulas which would include a mixture of theatrical screenings and online broadcasting.
“Our 2021 edition [qui est prévue du 5 au 25 août] will include an offer similar to that presented last summer on our online platform and indoor programming, the size of which will depend on the sanitary conditions permitted, ”Fantasia Festival president Pierre Corbeil said on Wednesday.
Same story with Cinemania and the Festival du nouveau cinema (FNC): “In order to properly celebrate our 50e anniversary which will take place from October 6 to 17, the entire festival team is already in action and is working on 3 options (full face-to-face, hybrid or only online) as well as on several surprises. We are monitoring the evolution of the pandemic very closely every day and we will take concrete decisions in the coming months concerning these different options according to the recommendations of the Government and Public Health ”, indicated by email the Director General of the FNC, Nicolas Girard Deltruc.