With Film Festival canceled, local retailer has thousands in merchandise that may go unsold, employees who ‘could use a little lift’

With COVID-19 cases surging, the Palm Springs International Film Festival was canceled Wednesday.

“After thoughtful consideration, the Film Society feels this is the most responsible decision to ensure the safety of our patrons, filmmakers and staff,” festival organizers said in a statement. “Those who have purchased festival tickets and passes will receive a refund.”

The festival was scheduled to run from Jan. 7 through 17. Organizers previously announced the cancellation of the Palm Springs International Film Awards ceremony, which was scheduled to begin the film festival on Jan. 6.

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Although organizers will partner with “Entertainment Tonight” to celebrate this year’s award honorees, no alternative to the film festival has been mentioned.

At this time, the Palm Springs ShortFest is scheduled to return June 21 through 27, 2022. The Film Festival and Film Awards are expected to return to an in-person event in January 2023. 

Meanwhile, the owner of one local business that had been prepping for the festival, Destination PSP, said his employees “could use a little lift.”

“For us, the Destination PSP team spent months getting ready for this,” wrote Jeffrey Bernstein. “For some this is the highlight of their year. We just opened our huge Festival Store at the Regal Courtyard Plaza, we bought tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise and we even purchased 2,000 custom face masks to donate to volunteers. We need to clear out as much merchandise as possible.”

Both the Downtown Palm Springs location, at 170 N Palm Canyon Dr., and the Regal Courtyard Plaza location, at 789 East Tahquitz Canyon Way, will be open Thursday at 9 AM offering 50% off festival merchandise. The offer is valid at the store’s online destination as well, using code “2022Festival.”

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