NS European Film Awards Germany has canceled its plans for a physical event this year due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
A small ceremony for the nominees only was scheduled to take place in Berlin on 11 December. Instead, it will now be in a hybrid of digital formats, including pre-made and live online.
Positive cases in Germany have been rising steadily over the past two months, reaching an average of close to 60,000 per day last week. Further concerns over the so-called Omicron version have seen governments across Europe react by introducing tougher measures.
The move by the European Academy raises further questions about how film and TV programs will be affected by the fourth wave of the pandemic, which is likely to be a factor in the winter. The Berlin International Film Festival, which is scheduled to run from 10-20 February, continues to prepare for a physical event, but organizers will consider backup plans at this time.
German actress, moderator and writer Annabelle Mandeng will host the hybrid EFA ceremony, which will still be broadcast from the Arena Berlin studio. He will be joined by a few other presenters on the physical site. The event will be broadcast live on EuropeanFilmwards.EU and various social channels.
“As much as we regret this decision,” European Film Academy Director Matthijs Router Knoll said. “The most important thing for us at the moment is to prevent people from traveling across Europe and increasing the risk to everyone – this is most important for both the nominees and the winners, but also our team in Berlin. We believe It is believed that the available technology and a great effort of everyone involved, together with our collective experience with online gatherings of all kinds, will make it possible to highlight the extraordinary films and achievements nominated for this year’s European Film Awards. In particular, we hope that the awards ceremony will bring the European film community closer together and reach more and more film-loving members of the public via streaming.”