Q: What precautions is the festival taking in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic?
A. Freep Film Festival will require mask-wearing and vaccination proof (or recent negative COVID-19 test) at all indoor events. The precautions are being planned due to the recent surge of COVID-19 infections associated with the delta variant. Masks and vaccination proof will not be required at outdoor events.
Festival staff plan to check vaccination cards upon admission for indoor events. A negative COVID test in the previous 72 hours would also be accepted, under the current plans. Masks will be required inside, except while eating or drinking.
“We think the mask and vaccination requirements at our indoor events will create the safest possible environment for our guests, venue partners, visiting filmmakers, volunteers and the festival team,” said Steve Byrne, the festival’s executive director. “We respect that people have different comfort levels in relation to pandemic protocols, and this is not a decision we came to lightly.”
More details will be announced as protocols are finalized with venue partners.
The festival will also host a number of outdoor screenings. Currently, the festival does not plan to require vaccination proof or masks at the outdoor events.
Freep Film Festival is also enacting several other changes designed to minimize pandemic-associated risks:
- Tickets for most of the festival’s events will be sold only in advance, eliminating the person-to-person interaction necessary for walk-up sales. This will also reduce the need for standing in line.
- The festival’s two largest venues, including the Redford Theatre and the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts, will be at significantly reduced capacity.
- Multiple outdoor screenings have been scheduled for the first time in the festival’s eight-year history.