Sydney Film Festival Postponed for Second Time This Year

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The 2021 edition of the Sydney Film Festival in Australia has been postponed again and is now expected to take place in November. The move follows a new lockdown in Sydney caused by a COVID-19 resurgence.

“In light of the Sydney lockdown extension announced by the NSW Government last week, Sydney Film Festival will postpone the 68th edition of the Festival until 3-14 November 2021. SFF remains committed to presenting a COVID-safe in-cinema Festival this year and will launch the full program and single ticket sales once lockdown has ended,” organizers said in a statement.

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“Sydney Film Festival looks forward to returning to cinemas for a COVID-safe event in November, when we’ll come together to celebrate the films we love, in person,” said SFF festival director Nashen Moodley.

Greater Sydney’s current lockdown, which requires that people stay at home except for essential business, runs until Aug. 28. It has been extended three times, and medical experts have said that it is likely to be extended again, into September.

The festival’ latest delay is the second time this year that the SFF has been postponed. It is normally held in June, after the Cannes Film Festival. But with Berlin and Cannes both delayed by more than a month this year, the SFF announced its dates as Aug. 18-29, 2021.

In 2020, the SFF was canceled due to COVID-19. Later, a smaller, online-only event was held.

The new delay could affect the festival’s selection, which was previously completed in July, but not publicly announced. Some currently-selected films that are scheduled for theatrical release in Australia or abroad may no longer be available. But others that premiere in Venice or Toronto, and which were not available for either June or August slots, could now be selected by Sydney.

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