Washington [US], December 18 (ANI): Berlin Film Festival has called off its physical event, scheduled for February 2021, due to the rising number of COVID cases in Germany.
According to Variety, the festival will now have a virtual run in the first week of March and the physical event will follow in June.
The European Film Market will run in a virtual format from March 1 to 5.
"As an answer to the times in which we are living, we have decided to split our offer into two distinct, yet related events that we hope will be able to fulfil our mission. While in March the film industry will be gathered (online) and will be able to support and give light to our selection, in summer -- like a new beginning, 71 years after the first edition -- our audiences will be able to celebrate the filmmakers and their team, in theaters and under the stars," Variety quoted Artistic director Carlo Chatrian.
"They will have the opportunity to enjoy the different sections and identities of the festival, to watch the films of the international competition and celebrate the winners in a joyful atmosphere, carrying the Golden and Silver Bears in their hands," Chatrian added.
The executive director of Berlinale Mariette Rissenbeek, on the other hand, said that while everybody has a "great desire" to meet for the festival in person, the current situation of the COVID pandemic does not allow a physical festival.
"At the same time, it is important to offer the film industry a market within the first quarter of the year. With the change in the festival format in 2021, we will have the chance to protect the health of all guests and to support the restart of the cinema industry," Variety quoted Rissenbeek.
"With the summer event, we want to celebrate a festival for the cinema and offer the Berlinale audience the long-awaited community experience of cinema and culture," added Rissenbeek.
The Berlinale had long been looking for having a physical event in April but the German government isn't certain of whether the situation of COVID is going to get better in the country. (ANI)