A small ceremony for nominees only was due to take place in Berlin on December 11. Instead, it will now take place in a hybrid of digital formats, including pre-produced and live online.
Positive cases in Germany have been rising consistently over the last two months, reaching close to 60,000 per day on average this past week. Further concerns over the Omicron variant have seen governments across Europe react by introducing stricter measures.
The move by the European Academy raises further questions about how film and TV events will be impacted by the pandemic’s fourth wave, which looks likely to be a factor across the winter. The Berlin International Film Festival, which is set to run February 10-20, continues to prep for a physical event and organizers are considering additional measures to ensure the festival can go ahead.
The festival reiterated to us today that it is still planning for an in-person event “under 2G conditions”, i.e. admission will only be possible for vaccinated or recovered persons. The first festival programming is due to be announced in mid-December.
A spokesperson added: “We are keeping an eye on the possible expansion to 2Gplus. We will examine what exactly 2Gplus means (masks, distance, tests, capacities) in terms of events/situations. How we will decide or implement each option, will be closely coordinated with the authorities.” 2Gplus measures are expected to include testing every two days.
German has already postponed two January industry events: the Munich Film Week, and the Bavarian Film Awards.
Politicians have this week been discussing the introduction of further Covid restrictions, including limits on large events such as soccer games and nightclubs. Cinemas have not been mentioned so far but further details are due to be announced by government tomorrow.
The pandemic is biting across Europe once again. Anecdotally, we’ve heard that attendance at this week’s TV trade event Content London has been hampered by new travel restrictions to the UK. Meanwhile, Austria is in a full national lockdown.
As for the EFAs, German actress, moderator and writer Annabelle Mandeng will host the hybrid ceremony, which will still be broadcast from the Arena Berlin studio. She will be joined by a handful of other presenters at the physical site. The ceremony will be streamed live on europeanfilmawards.eu and across various social channels.
“As much as we regret this decision,” European Film Academy director Matthijs Wouter Knol said. “At the moment what counts most to us is to prevent people from traveling across Europe and heightening the risk for everybody – this concerns foremost both nominees and winners, but also includes our team in Berlin. We trust that the available technology and a massive effort from everybody involved, combined with our collective experience with all kinds of online gatherings, will make it possible to highlight the exceptional films and achievements nominated for this year’s European Film Awards. In difficult times like these, we especially hope that the Awards Ceremony will bring together the European film community and reach as many film-loving members of the public as possible through streaming.”
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