• The Palm Springs Film Festival Awards gala was also canceled 
  • Nicole Kidman,  Kenneth Branagh and Andrew Garfield were scheduled to receive awards at the event
  • The festival is the latest public event that had been affected by COVID-19 

A surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has led to the cancelation of the 2022 Palm Springs Film Festival.

The Palm Springs International Film Society made the announcement Wednesday, just a little over a week after announcing the cancelation of its awards gala, which was also set for January.

The film festival was scheduled to take place from Jan. 7 to 17, while the gala was originally planned for Jan. 6.

"Based on the current rise of COVID cases, the Palm Springs International Film Society has announced that the Film Festival will not take place this year from January 7-17," the organizers said in a statement. "This follows the cancellation of the January 6 Film Awards. After thoughtful consideration, the Film Society feels this is the most responsible decision to ensure the safety of our patrons, filmmakers, and staff. Those who have purchased festival tickets and passes will receive a refund. For most, the refund will be returned to their original method of payment."

The stars who were supposed to receive awards at the event include "Being the Ricardos" star Nicole Kidman, "Belfast" (Vanguard Award) writer and director Kenneth Branagh and cast members Caitríona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds and Jude Hill; "The Power Of The Dog" director Jane Campion (Director of the Year Award); Jessica Chastain (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress); Penélope Cruz (International Star Award, Actress); Andrew Garfield (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor), Jennifer Hudson (Chairman's Award), Kristen Stewart (Spotlight Award, Actress) and Lady Gaga (Icon Award).

"King Richard" cast members, including Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Jon Bernthal and Tony Goldwyn, were selected for the Ensemble Performance Award.

The film festival is the latest public event affected by the burgeoning number of COVID-19 cases due to the more contagious Omicron variant. Broadway shows such as "Jagged Little Pill" were closed indefinitely last week.

The musical "Waitress" also canceled its remaining performances at New York City's Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Dec. 23 after new COVID-19 cases were detected among the company's crew. The musical was supposed to run until Jan. 9.

"Thoughts of a Colored Man" played its last performance at the Golden Theatre on Dec. 22 after the show was canceled permanently due to COVID-19. The production made history when it opened in October as the first Broadway show that was written, directed, produced and starred by Black men.

Palm Springs International Film Festival
PALM SPRINGS, CA - JANUARY 06: Kantemir Balagov, Jan Komasa, Ladj Ly, Mati Diop, Kathleen McInnis, V‡clav Marhoul, Tanel Toom and Barnab‡s T—th attend Shortlisted: Best International Feature Film Panel at the 31st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 6, 2020 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Festival) Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Festival