Oscars poised to loosen no-Zoom policy for this year's ceremony

Producers for this year’s Oscars ceremony are said to be considering relaxing their policy of mandatory in-person attendance for this year’s nominees.

According to a story in the Hollywood Reporter, the Academy has invited all nominees to participate in a Tuesday morning Zoom “conversation with show producers” Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins. This will include “updates about the show” as well as details on options should they need to participate remotely.

Earlier this month, producers had said there would “not be an option to Zoom in for the show” and that nominees should turn up instead at Los Angeles’ Union Station, where this year’s ceremony will primarily take place.

While most of this year’s nominees are based in the US, concern had been raised over the finances, logistics and safety of those based elsewhere flying to Los Angeles for the ceremony on 25 April.

England has currently banned non-essential international travel until mid-May, although work exemptions are in place as evidenced by performers such as Harry Styles attending the Grammy awards earlier this month.

Representatives of the five international feature films – submitted by Denmark, Hong Kong, Romania, Tunisia and Bosnia – could also face hurdles getting to Los Angeles.

Speaking to the Guardian, Alexander Nanau, the director of Romanian film Collective, which is nominated for both best documentary and best international feature film, said: “We certainly hope to be there – provided it’s safe and logistics allow – but we trust the Academy will find a solution to accommodate nominees who face difficult travel restrictions.”

Visitors to California are currently expected to quarantine for 10 days, incurring considerable expense and inconvenience, while the re-entry requirements for travellers back to their own countries vary widely. In some countries, visa offices remain closed.

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