France’s César Awards Sets 2021 Date, Still Undecided On Physical Or Virtual Ceremony; Unifrance Rendez-Vous Goes Online

Canal Plus

France’s Academie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema has confirmed a March 12, 2021 date for its César Awards, the local equivalent to the Oscars. While the ceremony will be broadcast live on Canal Plus, it is as-yet unclear if the proceedings will be held with an audience or in a virtual configuration. A rep for the Académie tells Deadline the org is hoping for a physical event, but is awaiting the evolution of sanitary protocols amid the COVID-19 crisis. “We continue to work on both possible scenarios,” the Académie said.

France will fully come out of a second lockdown on December 15, although there will be some curfew measures still in place. Given the uncertain nature of the coronavirus — and of the government’s response over the coming months — planning ahead for March is tenuous.

The Césars are normally held in February, typically before the Oscars — although last year they went later and made headlines for a swirl of controversy that involved Roman Polanski’s An Officer And A Spy as well as a general membership backlash over “elitist” and “closed” management. In September, the Académie set new leadership.

In a statement today, the group said the 2021 Césars ceremony will “offer a moment of celebration and support for cinema and culture.” Marina Fois will be mistress of ceremonies.

In other French news, Unifrance has opted to take its annual Rendez-Vous with French Cinema online. The event will be held virtually from January 13-15. In a normal year, more than 350 European buyers travel to Paris for the Rendez-Vous to meet with more than 40 sales companies on their upcoming slates.

Instead this year, Unifrance is partnering with Cinando to offer a secure site dedicated to online screenings and will expand the invitees to include countries from all over the world. Round-tables and masterclasses will also be held virtually.

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