Shanghai Film Festival canceled due to COVID crisis

China’s most prestigious film festival, the Shanghai International Film Festival has officially been canceled for this year, News.Az reports citing Variety. 

The festival is normally held in mid-June.

The 25th edition of the festival will instead be held next year, in 2023.

The decision to cancel this year’s festival outright is a sign of the continuing difficulties under which the film industry is currently operating in China.

In 2020, the festival moved its dates from June to August, after cinemas endured a five-and-a-half-month period of closure running from late January to early July. In 2021, organizers considered moving the festival to July, but in the end went ahead with it in its normal June slot, albeit with the country operating under significant travel restrictions. These involved two-week quarantine periods paid for at travelers’ own expense and potentially intrusive virus testing regimes.

The Shanghai festival organizers say they will try to put on film events in the second half of this year, should conditions permit.

“Due to the impact of the new coronavirus epidemic, the Shanghai International Film Festival Organizing Committee has decided that the 25th Shanghai International Film Festival originally scheduled to be held in June 2022 will be postponed to next year,” organizers said in a statement.


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