Berlin Film Fest may go virtual for 2021


Los Angeles: The Berlin International Film Festival might be held virtually for its upcoming 2021 edition.

Sources told Variety that the festival organisers are expected to delay the festival due to resurgence in coronavirus cases in Germany. They will be announcing their plans later this week.

As of now, the 71st edition of the film gala is scheduled to run as a physical event from February 11-21, but the organisers are now rethinking their strategy.

The festival is now looking to stage a competition section in a virtual format in early March, with the European Film Market running as a digital event at the same time.

The organisers are also thinking of holding a mini-festival with a series of onsite world premieres for early June.

Germany entered a harder lockdown from Wednesday, closing shops and schools to try to bring down stubbornly high new cases. The decision came after the country hit a new record level of coronavirus deaths.

It recorded 179.8 deaths of new infections per 100,000 residents over the last seven days, a new high and significantly more than the 149 per 100,000 reported a week ago by the Robert Koch Institute, the country”s disease control centre.

In addition to closing shops and moving children to remote learning for the few days before the Christmas holidays, private gatherings are being limited to two households with a maximum of five people, among other things. PTI