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To No One’s Surprise, Shanghai International Film Festival 2022 Canceled


The fate of this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) has finally been announced: On June 6, the organizing committee revealed that the 25th edition of SIFF, which had initially been planned for June, has been (unsurprisingly) postponed to next year due to the ongoing pandemic.

For a city that has just lifted its two-month-long lockdown, the cancellation of its A-list international film festival — the most prestigious in China — is a bitter pill to swallow.

Even so, the official announcement merely confirmed the writing on the wall. The festival’s lineup was set to be released in May, a time when Shanghai was in a prolonged, stringent lockdown; after it failed to surface, speculation became rife that the event would be rescheduled or canceled.

SIFF is not the only international event that has been called off or postponed in the city (Shanghai Fashion Week, notably), or the only one nationwide.

An announcement by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) in early May revealed two significant cancellations: The 2022 Asian Games, which would originally have been held in Hangzhou in September, have been postponed until 2023. Likewise, the Asian Youth Games in the southern Chinese city of Shantou will no longer happen this December.

The postponement of SIFF has caused many to fret over the fate of the Beijing International Film Festival, which has been scheduled for mid-August this year.

To comfort glum cinephiles, SIFF’s organizing committee has plans to roll out film exhibitions and other activities in the second half of 2022, circumstances permitting.

Nonetheless, the suspension of SIFF only adds to the woes experienced by the Chinese film industry, as cinemas struggle to survive, box office sales plummet, and fewer films are released.


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Cover photo via Depositphotos

Runjie Wang
    Runjie is interested in both textual and contextual films (e.g. cinema architecture, film culture) and the “mediatized” society and culture. He also considers himself an aviation geek. He holds an MA with an emphasis in humanities and cinema from the University of Chicago, and his writings have appeared in academic journals and local newspapers and magazines in the US.

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