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Oscars 2021 to Have a Live Show, Not Over Zoom

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The 93rd Academy Awards, scheduled to be held in April 25, 2021, will be held live and aired on ABC channel, a representative of the Academy and the ABC Television Network told Variety, on Tuesday.

The Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences, which organises the annual Oscars event, announced in June that the ceremony had been postponed by two months in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and in the hope that the cinemas would re-open soon.

The official notice read, “…the 93rd Oscars® ceremony will move to Sunday, April 25, 2021, as a result of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. The show, which will air live on ABC, was originally scheduled for February 28, 2021.”

Film industries across the world suffered a blow when theatres shut down and film shoots were stalled, thereby, causing delay in stages of production and release. Several films have postponed their releases to 2021 or on a digital platform this year. Consequently, the Academy announced an extension of the eligbility timeline from December 31, 2020 to February 28, 2021 to accommodate films that released or  will release on OTT platforms so that they qualify for submission.

Netflix has entered several films, including Netflix originals, for multiple categories at the Oscars, such as Mank, Da 5 Bloods, The Trial of Chicago 7, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

The Oscars event is held at the 3,400-seater Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, every year. While it is unclear what safety protocols will be introduced for the ceremony, an awards publicist familiar with the situation told Variety, “The Academy has done a walkthrough of the Dolby recently to see all the multiple options.”

The Academy will also be opening the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures to the public for display.

The Emmy Awards was held in September this year partially on Zoom and partially live at an empty Staples Theatre in Los Angeles which was broadcast by the ABC Television Network. The announcement of nominations and winners was done digitally with the presenters doing the honours through Zoom calls from their houses.

On the other hand, the Venice International Film Festival, also held in September, saw half of the ususal attendance present and with strict Covid protocols in place.

Other international award ceremonies that are scheduled to be held prior to the Oscars include the Golden Globe Awards 2021 (February 28, 2021), Critics Choice Awards (March 7, 2021), Screen Actors Guild Awards or SAG (March 14, 2021), and the British Academy for Film and Television Awards or BAFTA (April 11, 2021).

The US has had 13.8 million Covid-19 cases so far, with Los Angeles at around 4,09,000 cases and an estimated 7,700 deaths.

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