The Palm Springs International Film Society is scrapping plans for its star-studded Film Awards gala due to the recent spike in COVID-19. The organization behind the Palm Springs International Film Festival announced the cancellation on Monday amid growing concerns and the number of cases due to the omicron variant which is leading to a wave of high-profile cancellations from New York to Los Angeles. .
“We are taking this action due to the recent spike in COVID cases and out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of award winners, patrons and staff,” the Film Society said in a statement received by The Hollywood Reporter.
The gala was scheduled to take place Jan. 6 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, and according to the official website, the event was already sold out with 2,500 guests expected and more than 1,000 employees in the building. The expected winners are Kristen Stewart, Penelope Cruz, Jane Campion, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Hudson, the Belfast (featuring Kenneth Branagh, Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan and Ciaran Hinds and Jude Hill), Andrew Garfield, all of King Richard (including Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Jon Bernthal and Tony Goldwyn), Lady Gaga and Nicole Kidman.
The screening portion of the Palm Springs International Film Festival will continue as planned with events scheduled for January 7-17 with proof of vaccination and masks required. Like last year, the Film Awards will join forces with entertainment tonight for a virtual celebration of the winners.
The news comes hot on the heels of confirmation that the BAFTA Tea Party, scheduled for January 8, has also been canceled due to the virus as is the fate of next month’s other large-scale gatherings like the Critics Choice Awards and other awards season. events are questioned.
“We were planning to meet in person,” the BAFTA statement read. “However, given the uncertainties surrounding the impact this current variant of COVID-19 will have on our community, the prudent decision for BAFTA and our attendees is to delay the resumption of these large-scale events in Los Angeles. We thank our partners, in particular Jaguar Land Rover, BritBox, Heineken and the Four Seasons Los Angeles in Beverly Hills, for their understanding and support in this difficult decision.