Entertainment Awards Update

By Amit Jagwani  | 

From production postponements to delayed film premieres, much has changed for the movie industry in the wake of the pandemic. Awards season is no exception—but in true Hollywood fashion, the show must go on. And while red carpets will arguably look different in the coming months, event organizers have doubled down on efforts to deliver star-studded nights of recognition and entertainment at a time they’re needed most. Here’s what to expect from all your favorite galas.

Autumn
First up, the 72nd Emmy Awards. Though it’s still unclear whether the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will opt for a live or virtual event, the celebration will take place on September 20 at LA’s Microsoft Theater. (The Creative Arts Emmys and Daytime Emmys have both been slated for virtual airing.) Unlike the 2019 Fox show that went host-less for the fourth time in history, Jimmy Kimmel signed on to both host and executive produce this year’s Emmys on ABC. “I don’t know where we will do this or how we will do this or even why we are doing this, but we are doing it and I am hosting,” joked Kimmel. America’s funnyman is no stranger to the presenter spotlight, after emceeing the Emmys twice (in 2012 and 2016) and the Oscars two years in a row (2017 and 2018).

Winter
The Golden Globes have long been held on the first Sunday of each new year as a way to kick off awards season, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recently announced that the 78th ceremony will now take place on February 28, 2021. Despite the delay, the Globes still look to be the first awards of the season and could potentially influence Oscars nominations that have likewise been postponed. While Ricky Gervais hosted last year’s Globes, comedic duo Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will resume their joint presenting duties for the fourth time, cracking jokes during a glitzy dinner held at LA’s Beverly Hilton. NBC will air the live event starting at 5pm Pacific time.

Spring
An A-list presentation from across the pond is scheduled for next April. The BAFTAs (British Academy Film Awards) always precede the Oscars by several weeks and thus typically take place in February, but next year’s annual show will air from London’s Royal Albert Hall on April 11, 2021. “This change from the previously announced date of February 14 acknowledges the impact of the global pandemic and accommodates an extended eligibility period,” said BAFTA officials in a mid-June statement. In addition, organizers have engaged in ongoing talks to consider nominations for films released digitally, without traditional theater premieres, in recognition of this year’s special circumstances.

Finally, rounding out festivities is the 93rd annual Academy Awards, originally scheduled to air on February 28 and now delayed two months, to April 25, 2021. This will be the latest Oscars bash since 1934. “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,” said Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson. As always, the live event will be televised from Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made several relevant and timely changes. Due to theater closings and film festival cancellations, movies that debuted on VOD or streaming services in 2020 are eligible for nomination. And, importantly, officials recently announced efforts to increase diversification at the Oscars by launching “Academy Aperture 2025,” a task force of industry leaders dedicated to implementing new representation and inclusion standards.

Much remains uncertain amidst ongoing pandemic concerns. Venues that are normally packed will likely have to accommodate social distancing best practices and masks may be fashioned to coordinate with designer gowns and tuxedos. But one thing is clear, awards shows for 2020 and early 2021 will celebrate film and its ongoing power to tell compelling stories that move audiences in all kinds of ways.

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