The European Film Awards scheduled to have been held in Berlin, Germany, on Dec. 11 will no longer take place as an in-person event.
The 34th European Film Awards ceremony was previously re-formatted as a distanced live event, with attendance limited to nominees and award recipients.
“Due to the ongoing and unexpected developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Film Academy has decided that the upcoming ceremony of the 34th European Film Awards on Dec. 11 will be further adapted,” the Academy said in a statement. “The aim of the organization is to minimize risks for the people involved as much as possible.”
“The current situation forces the European Film Awards to take place in a completely hybrid form, with nominees and winners joining in various digital formats, pre-produced and live online,” the statement added.
The ceremony will be hosted by German actor, moderator and writer Annabelle Mandeng at a studio located in the Arena Berlin, where this year’s in-person ceremony was scheduled to take place. Several presenters of the different award categories will be at the studio and others will join through a virtual connection.
“As much as we regret this decision, 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,” said Academy director Matthijs Wouter Knol. “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,” Wouter Knol added.
COVID-19 cases have shot up in recent weeks in Germany, which currently has 67,186 infected patients and 446 deaths as of Dec. 1, according to the country’s Robert Koch Institute. Adding to the risk is the looming presence of the new Omicron variant.