Despite the raging COVID-19 pandemic, sources told Variety that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is exploring various avenues that will allow the 2021 Oscars to be an in-person show.
Earlier, the Academy had moved its annual telecast by two months to April 25, 2021. This was done because the Academy hoped that theatres would open up by the Spring and hence, allow more movies to compete at the Oscars, sources said.
The ceremony traditionally takes place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles which can host about 3400 people and the Academy organisers are looking at how the annual event can be carried out live. The Oscars, as everyone knows, celebrates the best in cinema every year.
“The Academy has done a walkthrough of the Dolby recently to see all the multiple options,” an awards publicist told Variety. A representative from the Dolby Theatre declined to comment.
Like most industries throughout the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the film industry with losses running into the millions due to the closing of movie theatres and accompanying reasons. In a bid to help out, the Academy extended the eligibility timeline from Dec. 31 to Feb. 28, 2021, in addition to allowing films that premiere on streaming platforms to also compete.
The Emmys were hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and Jennifer Aniston but most of the nominees joined in via Zoom. With over 13 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the US and over 269,000 deaths, Los Angeles County has announced a mandatory three-week “Safer at Home” that will last till December 20.
In related news, Malayalam film Jallikattu is India’s official entry to the Best International Feature Film category of the 93rd Academy Awards.
Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Malayalam film faced heavy competition from 26 other Indian films like Chhalaang, Gulabo Sitabo, Gunjan Saxena, Shakuntala Devi, Chhapaak, Eeb Allay Ooo!, Serious Men, Bulbbul and The Disciple. But the film was eventually chosen as India’s official selection for its depiction of the “raw side of human beings, that we are worse than animals,” according to Rahul Rawail, chairman of Film Federation of India jury.