Berlin -The 2021 Berlin Film Festival, or Berlinale, will not take place in physical theatres - thanks to the coronavirus. Instead, reports Hollywood entertainment magazine Variety, the 71st edition of the A-list festival will take place online in early March.

The Berlinale's European Film Market, one of the world's most important industry meet-ups, will also go digital. 

The Berlin fest was originally scheduled to take place from 11 to 21 February. But the rising number of Covid-19 infections has apparently forced the organisers to reschedule.

According to Variety, organisers are cooking up plans to hold world premieres for selected movies on big screens in Berlin during a mini-festival in June.

There had been talk of holding the festival as a physical event at the beginning of April, but the German government, which covers most of the Berlinale's €27 million budget, refused to play along due to uncertainty about the health situation improving by then.