European Film Awards Scrap Physical Ceremony Amid Omicron COVID Fears

“What counts most to us is to prevent people from traveling across Europe and heightening the risk for everybody,” European Film Academy’s director says

European Film Awards

The European Film Awards are going digital as the COVID-19 Omicron variant spreads. The ceremony, hosted by German actress, moderator and writer Annabelle Mandeng, will be pre-produced and stream online, the European Film Academy said on Wednesday.

The Dec. 11 event will still emanate from Arena Berlin. Some presenters will be on-site, while others will join virtually.

European Film Academy Director Matthijs Wouter Knol released the following in a statement: “As much as we regret this decision, at the moment what counts most to us is to prevent people from traveling 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.”

This year’s European Film Awards had already been reformatted as a socially-distanced live event. With Omicron on the rise, that is no longer a viable option. As readers can probably tell from the photo above, the European Film Academy, like pretty much all groups that have (attempted to) put on awards shows in the past 20 months, have had some practice in this (mostly) virtual arena.

The streaming 34th European Film Awards can be followed on at 19:00 CET and through various partners all over Europe, the academy said. It will also be covered on the European Film Awards’ official Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

Find the full list of nominees here.