After a yearlong hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Palm Springs International Film Festival has set dates for its return next year.
The festival will run Jan. 6-17, 2022 — a hopeful comeback to its normally prime position on the festival circuit calendar. The Palm Springs event can offer clues as to potential Oscar candidates early in the year.
The festival will open with its star-studded Film Awards Gala in Palm Springs and conclude with the “Best of Fest” awards 11 days later.
This year’s festival and gala were canceled last November amid the global surge in COVID-19 cases. The Palm Springs International Film Society announced this year’s film award honorees virtually in February, including Viola Davis, Anthony Hopkins, Andra Day and more. The honors were doled out a month later than the festival is usually held, a move by Palm Springs organizers that came after the Oscars extended its eligibility window to the end of February.
The Palm Springs event is typically held the first week in January to precede the Golden Globe Awards and the Oscar nominations voting deadline.
The appetite for in-person events has been mixed among the world’s major film festivals.
Sundance, which managed to hold its 2020 iteration just before the pandemic took hold, went virtual this year. The Cannes Film Festival, which was canceled last year due to COVID-19 safety concerns, is currently planned for an in-person event July 6-17. The Venice International Film Festival — one of the only major film festivals that didn’t cancel amid the pandemic — is scheduled to run Sept. 1-11.
Some of the California desert’s largest events, such as the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals, are excluded from the reopening plan for the time being. The Palm Springs film festival may be one of the first large events to occur in the Coachella Valley since the pandemic began last year.
By comparison, Coachella and Stagecoach are estimated to bring roughly $700 million into the local economy each year, according to the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership.
New dates have yet to be announced for either music festival.
The Palm Springs short film festival ShortFest is still scheduled for June 22-28. Additional details have yet to be announced.