Shanghai’s two-month quarantine was lifted on June 1, but already public health officials are warning of a flare-up in infections in some city districts, throwing a wrench in the 25th anniversary of the Shanghai Film Festival. Organizers are now getting the official red light after industry figures have long speculated. China’s biggest and most respected cinematic event is not going forward this year due to ongoing Omicron outbreaks in the country and Beijing’s strict “COVID zero” policy.
The Shanghai festival is usually a mid-June affair, but organizers had remained hesitant on the event’s fate throughout the city’s recent two-month lockdown. Festival officials put out a brief statement Monday afternoon saying the event was formally postponed until 2023. The decision marks the third year of abnormal operation for China’s longest-running cinema event.
“Due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, 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,” reads the statement from the committee organizers.
Festival organizers stated that “if conditions permit, we will plan and hold relevant film festivals and themed events in the second half of this year.”