Film festival postponed indefinitely amid rising Covid cases

Film festival postponed indefinitely amid rising Covid cases
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Film festival postponed indefinitely amid rising Covid cases

Highlights

The 13th Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes), scheduled to be held in the city from March 24 to 31, has been postponed indefinitely due to rising Covid-19 cases.

Bengaluru: The 13th Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes), scheduled to be held in the city from March 24 to 31, has been postponed indefinitely due to rising Covid-19 cases. A core committee, headed by Principal Secretary of Information and Public Relations Department, held a meeting in which all the stakeholders unanimously agreed to postpone the event.

The festival is held annually in collaboration with the Karnataka Film Academy, the Information and Public Relations Department. According to the reports, the film festival, being an international event, attracts thousands of people, making it difficult to follow the Covid guidelines. It was estimated that more than 12,000 people, including some from abroad, would participate. In the meeting, it was felt that it would be difficult to follow Covid's guidelines.

Speaking to The Hans India, Suneel Puranik, chairperson of the Karnataka Film Academy (KFA), said, "the decision has been taken due to a surge in Covid infections across India, including Karnataka state. In pursuance of the observations made by the Health and Family Welfare department, the government of Karnataka has ordered the postponement. So the next schedule of the event will be decided after consulting experts because the technical committee will observe it for some period and inform us to come up with next dates. Maybe it will be scheduled in May".

In February, the Chief Minister had unveiled the logo of this year's edition of the film festival and it was decided to conduct the event from March 24 to 31. However, the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases forced the organisers to seek an opinion from the Health and Family Welfare Department on conducting the event. The department, in its response, said that the situation is not conducive to holding the event and if at all there is a need to conduct it, strict guidelines should be put in place by allowing not more than 500 people.

"We know a large number of people were expected to take part in the event. In the wake of an increase in Covid-19 cases, a unanimous decision was taken to postpone the event. But no worries as only the date has been postponed and all other things will remain the same as every year. So will wait and everything will fall in place" Suneel Puranik added.

BiFFes is usually held earlier in the year. In 2020, it had begun on February 27. This year, however, the popular event was delayed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Films were scheduled to be screened in 11 screens at PVR in Orion Mall.

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