Oscars 'to set up Academy Awards hubs' for nominees in London and Paris

The Academy will reportedly allow British nominees to take part in the Oscars from London, after earlier warning that appearing via Zoom was not an option.

The 93rd Academy Awards will take place on 25 April in the US with an in-person event at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. Some live elements of the show will be included from the ceremony’s usual home of the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

After nominees were earlier told a virtual appearance was not allowed, producers for the ceremony have said they will set up “hubs” in London and Paris to make it easier for Europe-based stars, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The Academy, the body that oversees the Oscars, is still encouraging anyone who can safely and legally travel to Los Angeles for the ceremony to do so, the Reporter said.

Coronavirus is surging across much of Europe and nominees busy with productions around the world may find it challenging to make the show while grappling with different quarantine and travel rules.

Asked about Zoom appearances, film-maker Steven Soderbergh, one of the producers of the broadcast, reportedly told the nominees “we hope it doesn’t come to that”. The Academy has been contacted for comment.

Sir Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Olivia Colman, Daniel Kaluuya, Riz Ahmed en Carey Mulligan are among the British acting nominees.

Emerald Fennell is up for best director while singer Celeste is up for best song.
The Academy has not said where in London the hub will be. The ceremony takes place in the early hours of 26 April in the UK.

Other international hopefuls include Danish director Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round), Bulgarian Borat Subsequent Moviefilm star Maria Bakalova and South Korea’s best supporting actress nominee Youn Yuh-Jung (Minari).

This year’s nominated foreign films hail from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Hongkong, Romania and Tunisia.

In a letter to nominees earlier this month, the Academy said it would accept awards on behalf of any winner who could not attend the ceremony.

It said: “For those of you unable to attend because of scheduling or continued uneasiness about travelling, we want you to know there will not be an option to Zoom in for the show.

“We are going to great lengths to provide a safe and ENJOYABLE evening for all of you in person, as well as for all the millions of film fans around the world, and we feel the virtual thing will diminish those efforts.”

Attendance to the ceremony will be restricted, it was previously announced, with a stripped-back red carpet and media presence among the pandemic-era concessions.

For those who make it, the event will feature a red carpet of sorts, while nominees will be rotated in and out of Union Station as their categories arrive.

In a seeming nod to some of the relaxed dress choices seen at the virtual Globes, nominees have also been told that “formal is totally cool if you want to go there, but casual is really not.”

Awards shows have struggled to attract viewers amid the health crisis. The Golden Globes took place in February and sank to a 13-year low in viewing figures. Similarly the Grammys recorded its lowest-ever viewership, despite boasting a star-studded list of performers.

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