Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, Pune International Film Festival postponed

Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Pune Film Foundation has postponed the 19th edition of the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF).

According to a report by The Hindu, screenings of films in multiplexes and theatres have been postponed until further notice. However, the festival will be held online from March 18 to 25.

PIFF Director and renowned filmmaker Jabbar Patel said that most of their delegates have expressed apprehensions of attending the screenings in theatres and have enquired to check if the festival could be held online. Therefore the sudden change.

Started with the idea of building and promoting a healthy film culture in Pune, PIFF's objective is to give film lovers in the city access to global cinema and spark a cultural exchange. With discussions, lectures and masterclasses on varied topics related to the craft, it tries to instil an academic flavour in the festival.

With the addition of 2,515 new cases of COVID-19, the count of infections in Maharashtra's Pune district rose to 4,25,504 on Wednesday, a health official said.

Eleven persons died of the infection during the day, raising the toll in the district to 9,341, the official said.

Of the 2,515 new cases, 1,352 were reported from the Pune Municipal Corporation limits, while 633 were detected in the Pimpri Chinchwad area, he said.

As many as 1,335 patients were discharged from various treatment facilities during the day, the official added.

Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said that at the start of February there were only 1,300 active cases but now the the number has risen to 7,000 in Pune municipal limits.

"There are no discussions about imposing any lockdown, but yes, some restrictions might come into force if the cases continue to rise," said Mohol.

He added that even if there are 7,000 active cases in the city, the civic body is all prepared as far as healthcare facilities are concerned.

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