Can the ‘awards-bait’ movie survive the impact of coronavirus?

The Emmys were held over Zoom and the Oscars have been pushed back – but the enforced shakeup from the pandemic could be just what the awards season needs

As with other creative industries, the film business is reeling under the impact of coronavirus. Crews are struggling to shoot, cinemas are severely restricting audience numbers, studios have been forced to delay releases and film festivals have been largely driven online. In this climate, the awards season – traditionally seen as the driver of artistic excellence as well as the repository for the industry’s vital quotient of glamour – is taking a battering.

In usual times, autumn marks the time when the awards season is in full swing. After the summer blockbusters, heavyweight awards contenders announce themselves with glittering film festival premieres at Venice, Toronto, Telluride, New York and London, films nail down release dates to ensure eligibility for the awards (the traditional cut-off point for the Oscars is 31 December), and stars jet in to hold in-person Q&As with awards voters to cajole vital slivers of support.

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