Berlin International Film Festival pushed to 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic, will be split in two parts

While a virtual Berlinale will be held online in March, organisers are scheduling a summer event with numerous film screenings for the public in theatres

FP Staff December 19, 2020 09:31:48 IST
Berlin International Film Festival pushed to 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic, will be split in two parts

The annual Berlin International Film Festival is being put off this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and split into two parts later in 2021, organisers said Friday.

The “Berlinale” had been scheduled for February in the German capital but cannot go ahead due to the likelihood that coronavirus restrictions on large gatherings will continue, organisers said.

To give the film industry a venue to market their products in the first quarter, however, a virtual Berlinale will be held online in March. Then in June, organisers are scheduling a summer event with numerous film screenings for the public in theatres and the open air.

“The division makes it possible to maintain the two supporting pillars: film market and festival,” organisers said.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, with Germany going on a complete lockdown on Wednesday (16 December), the model of the Berlin Film Festival 2021 will be somewhat similar to the Cannes Film Festival 2020 that was held in October.

The three-day Cannes Film Festival completed just when France announced its second lockdown.

The European Film Market (EFM) that runs alongside Berlinale is also expected to go online. EFM had earlier announced its plans to incorporate online screenings and market events into its 2021 edition.

However, EFM was hoping to have some form of physical presence which now appears to be unlikely with COVID-19 cases on the rise.

Last year, the Berlin Film Festival had 132 participating countries. As many as 341 films were screened in a public programme and 732 films were shown in the European Film Market.

(With inputs from The Associated Press)

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