Despite a prolonged effort to maintain a physical edition this year, the Berlin Film Festival has been forced to move its primary industry event, the European Film Market, online due to rising Covid cases in Germany, according to multiple sources.

Deadline understands that the festival itself will remain a physical event but rumors are abounding that the Film Market will once again take place virtually.

Three weeks ago, the festival put out a statement expressing confidence in its ability to hold an in-person event in 2022, after last year’s edition was also forced to shift to a virtual format. The fest stated that the EFM had largely sold out physical exhibition spaces and was seeing strong interest for accreditation.

At the time, however, Deadline noted that exhibitors would be able to claim deposits back in the result of a cancellation due to Covid, and the mood we were getting from international sellers and buyers was not optimistic towards a physical EFM.

Germany rode a significant Covid wave in late November but case numbers decreased steadily throughout December, prompting some optimism that further restrictions would not be required.

The spread of Omicron in countries such as the UK saw the German government impart fresh travel restrictions, however the variant has taken hold and cases have begun to rise again across the last week.

The market did not respond to request for comment, an official announcement is expected later today after the German government has announced update Covid restrictions.

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