Last week, a number of film festivals and industry events scheduled to take place over the next month announced plans to impose strict health measures to protect attendees in light of the recent explosion in the number of COVID infections across the U.S. The Sundance Film Festival announced that booster shots would be required for entrance to all in-person screenings and that concessions and drinks would no longer be allowed in the auditoriums. The Palm Springs Film Festival was canceled outright less than two weeks before its scheduled opening on January 7th. Interestingly, Palm Springs is still planning to convene its Short Film Festival beginning on January 21st, which could be in doubt if case counts continue to rise.
Festival watchers are now wondering about the fate of larger, international festivals such as the Berlin International Film Festival, scheduled for February 10th-20th. For the time being, the organizers of Berlin are holding to their plans for an in-person event.