The Omicron surge is upsetting schedules for the upcoming festival and awards season. This week, the Berlin Film Festival announced that its upcoming event would be shortened to 7 days from 2/10 to 2/16, down from the 11-day program that had previously been announced. All group receptions and parties have been canceled and capacity at in-person screenings will be capped at 50%. Despite this significant scaling back, many were surprised (and pleased) that festival organizers opted to maintain any in-person screenings.
In other important news, the Critic’s Choice Awards 2022 announced that their program which had originally been scheduled for 1/9 would now take place on 3/13, which happens to be the same date as the annual British Academy Film Awards. BAFTA’s organizers must be disappointed by the conflict and competition, both for audience and talent. There has been some discussion about establishing a satellite link between the venues in Los Angeles and London to allow stars to participate live at both events.
The CCA was forced to balance the needs of holding its awards show before the Oscars and meeting its obligations to the host venue and TV networks while navigating the disruptions of Omicron. Critics Choice Association CEO Joey Berlin concluded, “We believe that March 13th will be the right day to properly honor the finest achievements in film and television during the past year.”