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BANGALORE

Bengaluru International Film Festival postponed indefinitely

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Citing a surge in the number of COVID-19 positive cases, the Karnataka government decided to postpone the 13th edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes) indefinitely. An order in this regard was issued on Monday.

Prior to the government order, 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.

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 March 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 the event, strict guidelines should be put in place by allowing not more than 500 people.

The film festival, being an international event, attracts thousands of people, making it difficult to follow the guidelines. It was estimated that more than 12,000 people, including some from abroad, would participate.

Suneel Puranik, chairperson of the Karnataka Film Academy (KFA), in a press release, said that the next schedule of the event will be decided after consulting experts.

“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,” a release from the KFA states.

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

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