Next year's Oscars to be ‘in-person' event, Academy says

It is unclear what form the ceremony will take.

Next year’s Oscars will be conducted as an in-person event despite the pandemic, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has said.

The 93rd Academy Awards have been postponed from February to April as a result of the chaos wrought by the coronavirus on the film industry.

Other prominent awards ceremonies have made major concessions for the pandemic, with the Emmys among the presentations to go mostly virtual.

Bong Joon-ho
Parasite director Bong Joon-ho was a big winner at this year’s Oscars, which took place soon before the coronavirus pandemic upended life (Jennifer Graylock/PA)

However, the Academy, the body which oversees the Oscars, has reportedly said the in-person telecast will go ahead as planned.

In a statement to Variety, a representative for the Academy and the ABC network which broadcasts the ceremony, said: “The Oscars in-person telecast will happen.”

The Academy had earlier announced changes to its eligibility rules in response to the pandemic closing theatres and taking a hammer to the release schedule.

The eligibility period for Oscars consideration was extended beyond the standard December 31 deadline to February 28, 2021.

It is unclear what form an in-person Oscars would take. The ceremony is usually held at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, which has a capacity of 3,400.

Los Angeles County is struggling to control rapidly rising cases of Covid-19 and residents are under a stay-at-home order.

And many of the early Oscar contenders are at an age which makes them vulnerable to the virus. Sir Anthony Hopkins, who has earned acclaim for his portrayal of an elderly man struggling with dementia in The Father, is 82. Sophia Loren is 86 while Meryl Streep is 71.

Most other pandemic-era awards shows have looked starkly different to those of previous years.

The Emmys took place in downtown Los Angeles, with Jimmy Kimmel on hosting duties. There was no studio audience and the vast majority of nominees were off-site.

The show was hailed a success. The MTV Video Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards and American Music Awards have all taken place over the past few months, with major changes to accommodate coronavirus safety protocols.

The Academy has been contacted for comment.

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