The Shanghai International Film Festival, which is traditionally held in mid-June, has been cancelled, showcasing the continuing difficulties surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic in China.
The 25th edition of the festival will be held next year instead. In 2020, the festival moved its dates from June to August after cinemas were closed due to the pandemic.
In 2021, the festival was held during its normal June slot, but the country was under significant travel restrictions. This meant that any visitors had to quarantine for two weeks and undergo virus testing.
The organisers said in a statement: “Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the Organising Committee of Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) has decided that the 25th SIFF, originally scheduled to take place in June 2022, will be postponed to next year.
“We would like to express our heartfelt thanks and sincere apologies to people in all sectors of society who care about and support SIFF. If possible, we will plan and hold film exhibitions and themed events in the second half of this year to share the joy brought by cinematic art and film activities.”
After a tough lockdown in the Chinese city which began in April, Shanghai was allowed to reopen on June 1. However, cinemas were not part of the first wave of reopening. Cities including Beijing and Shenzhen have also been able to re-open and cinemas in the Chinese capital will be allowed to welcome 75% capacity of fully-vaccinated patrons from today (Monday).