European Film Awards Cancels Physical Ceremony

The European Film Awards has cancelled its plans for a physical ceremony this year due to rising Covid numbers in Germany.

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 so-called 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 but organizers will be considering backup plans at this juncture.

German actress, moderator and writer Annabelle Mandeng will host the hybrid EFA 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 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 travelling 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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