In the latest shift of the awards calendar, the Palm Springs International Film Festival and its accompanying Film Awards Gala have been postponed.
The festival will now run February 25 to March 8, 2021, and the gala will take place on Feb. 25 to kick off the festival, now in its 32nd year.
As of now, the gala is still meant to take place in person at the Palm Springs Convention Center, and the festival will have full days of film screenings beginning on Feb. 26, including an Opening Night presentation and Best of Fest presentation to conclude the festival.
“The date change is to ensure the health and safety of our patrons, staff, filmmaker guests and partners and to make sure we can have a memorable and enjoyable festival experience,” the festival said in a release.
Film submissions will be accepted beginning August 1 through FilmFreeway. Film Award Gala seats and tables and festival passes will go on sale in October.
The festival’s awards gala generally takes place in the first week of January, and kicks off awards season in the new year as Oscar voting gets underway. Because of the desert resort town’s proximity to Hollywood and the number of press and awards voters who attend the festival, the gala has become a popular place to showcase Oscar contenders. Honorees at last year’s gala included Cynthia Erivo, Joaquin Phoenix, Antonio Banderas, Laura Dern, Zack Gottsagen, Quentin Tarantino, Jennifer Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Charlize Theron, Adam Driver, Renée Zellweger and Martin Scorsese.
The Santa Barbara Film Festival, as well as many other awards shows, including the BAFTAs and Indie Spirits, also shifted their dates in order to adhere to the new schedule set by the Academy for the 2021 Oscars, which will now take place in late April 25.