The 2021 Oscars will be an 'in-person telecast', the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has confirmed, rather than an online event.
While many industry events and film festivals have become 'virtual' in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, the biggest night in the movie world calendar is clearly hoping to return to some semblance of normailty.
A representative for the Academy and US broadcaster ABC, which beams the event worldwide every year, told Variety: “The Oscars in-person telecast will happen.”
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How it will run is another matter.
The show is usually held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, in front of a capacity 3,400 crowd crammed into the venue.
An awards publicist close the Academy added to the industry paper: “The Academy has done a walkthrough of the Dolby recently to see all the multiple options.”
The 93rd Oscars won't be taking place in February, as the event usually does. It was shifted back two months to 25 April back in June this year, after reports that it might postpone the show began emerging in May.
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AMPAS also announced at the time that it would be extending the eligibility window of the awards, up to 28 February, 2021.
It said in a statement: “For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year.
“Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control.”
However, the pool of competitors this year will be hugely decreased, with hundreds of movies having had their release dates shifted due to the closure of cinemas around the world.
And in a new move, films that had their premieres on streaming platforms are also now eligible for submission.
The news follows the Emmys in September going ahead, with both in-person appearances alongside winners and nominees appearing via Zoom.
Among those predicted for the 2021 Oscars are the likes of David Fincher’s Mank, Frances McDormand’s Nomadland, Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the last movie to star the late Chadwick Boseman.
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