FESTIVALS FACE COVID
Venice is famous for fun, festivals and masks, but this year, in the era of social distancing, it’s a different kind of fun festival. And, as for the masks, they are more likely to be the medical kind.
It all adds up to an awards season we have never seen before.
The Venice Film Festival went on as planned but with a very reduced schedule, temperature checks, a six-foot space between guests, a limited number of fans and a limited amount of press.
Celebs walked a limited red carpet and when A-list masks were worn, many were of the designer variety.
Films featured mostly European offerings and, even then, the round-up was small compared to an average year.
In Toronto, the films were pared down to 50 (as opposed to 333 last year).
In eight months, the Oscars will allegedly take place at a ceremony that has already been pushed back two months by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus also took Cannes and Telluride off the schedule.
A lot of big name stars were missing from this year’s festivals.
There is some good news, however: Christopher Nolan’s big budget extravaganza “Tenet” had a reasonable showing when it opened in the United States and did well overseas.
We could also see award contenders like Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of “West Side Story” and Denis Villeby’s take on “Dune.” Both films are scheduled to open by the end of the year—that is, if theaters stay open and movie fans determine it is safe to go to see an indoor flick.
It could add up to an odd Oscar year as the drop in big-name films leaves more room for indie candidates. One executive is quoted as saying, “It’s going to be an indie Oscars.”
GRAMMY SEASON IS ON
The eligibility period for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards is now closed. Now, we will wait to see who makes the cut. The ceremony is meant to recognize songs and albums released between Sept. 1, 2019, and Aug. 31, 2020. The list of contenders includes the usual suspects like Taylor Swift and The Weeknd as well as newcomers like Roddy Rich.
Record labels are scrambling to position their acts and put them in the winner’s circle. The first round of voting is set to start Sept. 30.
The Grammys are scheduled to be held Jan. 31. Once again, this ceremony will be affected by COVID and there is no word on whether it will be live (we can only hope) or via Zoom. So keep your ears open and wait to hear the word.