The Auckland leg of Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival won't go ahead this year, with organisers saying the current alert level doesn't allow for it.
The festival requires uncapped indoor capacities and the recently announced road map to easing restrictions doesn't allow for this.
New Zealand Film Festival Trust chair Catherine Fitzgerald said the board and management had worked tirelessly to look at all possible options, but they had to make the announcement with very heavy hearts,
She said they held out as long as possible before making the decision to cancel.
"With Auckland in a form of level 3 for some weeks to come, and uncertainty around when capacity limits will be lifted, it is no longer possible for us to go ahead with the Auckland edition of this year's festival.
"The team, led by director - Kaiwhakatere Marten Rabarts and general manager Sally Woodfield, has worked under extraordinary circumstances to do everything possible to present this year's festival in all 13 towns and cities, and our programme confirmed for 2021, featuring an outstanding line-up of award-winning films from around the globe, is one that we are extremely proud of."
The trust is working towards having the festival in the rest of the country under the current alert level 2 restrictions.
Fitzgerald said audience safety is paramount and the trust is working with venues to ensure this.
"We are working with venues and cinemas on the logistics of presenting under the level 2 restrictions with the removal of the cap on capacities, but with various continuing level 2 requirements including physical distancing.
The festival opens in Christchurch on October 29, Wellington on November 4, and Dunedin on November 5, followed by nine regional centres.
The full programme will be announced in the coming days.