Palm Springs Cancels 2022 Fest–Is Sundance Next?

The Palm Springs International Film Society has announced that the Film Festival will not take place this year from January 7-17, 2022.

Palm Springs fest organizers made the decision based on the current rise of Covid-19 cases. Many of these cases are tied to the recent arrival of the Omicron variant in the US. I might not be in California but speaking for the Chicago area, the positivity rate is double what it was from last week. These numbers are quadruple the rate from two weeks ago. There is no reason to think that these next few weeks are going to get any better.

The fest released the following statement:

This follows the cancellation of the January 6 Film Awards. After thoughtful consideration, the Film Society feels this is the most responsible decision to ensure the safety of our patrons, filmmakers, and staff. Those who have purchased festival tickets and passes will receive a refund.  For most, the refund will be returned to their original method of payment.

At this time Palm Springs ShortFest is scheduled to return June 21-27, 2022. The Film Festival and Film Awards will return to an in-person event in January 2023. The Film Awards will partner with Entertainment Tonight to celebrate this year’s honorees with details to follow. The festival will announce juried award winners from the official selection on January 15 via press release and social media.

Like you, we love film and believe it has the power to change minds and lives, to bring us closer together. We are deeply saddened that we can’t do that physically in Palm Springs but we know we’ll have another chance. We strongly believe in the shared experience of watching films in theaters and will not be mounting a virtual alternative.

Palm Springs was set to end a few days before opening night of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. I hope festival organizers do the right thing and make the pivot to a completely virtual festival. Listen, I would love nothing more to attend this year’s Sundance in person. My lodging has already been paid after raising money on GoFundMe in order to attend the fest. It’s currently non-refundable unless the festival pivots. Prior to the surge, I would have been comfortable attending Sundance. But with this surge, it is irresponsible to attempt to put on an in-person film festival. I love movies and the communal experience but it goes without saying that Sundance needs to do the right thing. Time will tell.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival will return in 2023.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.