The year 2020 may be over but woes with coronavirus continue. After Grammys postponed their ceremony to March due to surge in cases in Los Angeles, the Sundance Film Festival has decided to cancel its planned drive-in screenings. The film festival will now have online screenings instead due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles. The festival is set to take place from January 28 to February 3 in Park City Utah while the drive-ins were planned across California. Health Officials advised the organisers to cancel the screenings due to surge in cases especially in southern California.
“The safety and well-being of our audiences, community and staff is the most important thing to Sundance Institute and Sundance Film Festival,” organizers said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
“In consideration of the overall public health situation in the Los Angeles area and the trajectory of the spread of the virus there, the health guidelines, and crisis the hospital systems are facing we will be pivoting our planned drive-in screenings to our online platform.”
The outlet also obtained a letter from Sundance sent to filmmakers in which the new coronavirus strain and capacity of hospitals are also mentioned as reasons for the change.
The festival will charge ahead in other states, however, where they are allowed to take place in indie theatres.
Seventy-two feature-length films and several short films will be shown in the seven-day event on a digital platform.
Meanwhile, according to a report by AFP, the iconic Cannes Film Festival too is looking to push back its festival due to COVID. The festival takes place in May every year barring last year.
Festival organisers are reportedly considering pushing the festival from May to July or August owing to the pandemic.
According to reports, organizers are taking time “to evaluate the situation at the start of the year” before deciding on said date for the festival this year.
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