The Hong Kong International Film Festival, deferred last year by the coronavirus outbreak, has announced plans to return to its normal Springtime slot. But with a lingering virus impact, the 2021 edition will be a hybrid, combining both in-theatre and online screenings and audience-engagement events.
According to Variety, Executive director Albert Lee said that a hybrid 45th edition would allow audiences to connect through an online platform without sacrificing the irreplaceable big-screen cinematic experience. The event will run for 12 days, April 1-12, 2021. Selectors expect to have confirmed the full program by the end of February. They have scheduled a line-up announcement for March 9, 2021.
"With the pandemic showing few signs of abating, we recognize the proactive need to confront the challenges by adding an online component to our festival for the first time." Besides screenings, the festival will offer online streaming of some of the seminars, post-screening talks, and other events.
"The HKIFF Society will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and comply with every health measure mandated by the government. Public safety remains our paramount concern," Lee said.