The 2021 American Film Market will once again go virtual, following the online format of last year’s event that took place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Independent Film and Television Alliance made the official announcement Thursday, roughly two months after organizers signaled that AFM could return as an in-person event this year. The virtual shift comes as the pandemic still rages on and cases of the delta variant persist around the country.

“We wish we could welcome the global industry back to Santa Monica but travel regulations, increased concerns about coronavirus variants around the world, and government restrictions on the ground prevent us from moving forward,” said Michael Ryan, Chairperson of the IFTA and partner of GFM Films said, announcing the decision. “However, IFTA is thrilled to host the market the industry expects — where no one will be excluded and all of our stakeholders can immerse themselves for five days dedicated to deal making, discovery, education, and reconnecting.”

The 2021 American Film Market will be held from Monday, Nov. 1, to Friday, Nov. 5. Registration is now open. This year’s online edition will include screening, conferences, panels, workshops, a networking pavilion, industry offices and more. Updates on the events will be announced through email, social media and the American Film Market website.

Last year’s virtual American Film Market drew a record 562 exhibitors registered from 48 countries. The U.S. led the way with 259 companies, followed by Italy (59), the U.K. (46), Russia (25), Germany (20), France (19), Canada (17), South Korea (14), Japan (12), and Thailand (11). Roughly 1,500 buyers from 66 countries participated.