With the 93rd Academy Awards just a week away, the coronavirus pandemic has reared its ugly head yet again—this time around with rumors of a mutated variant keeping everyone on edge.

But the residents of Tinseltown are anything if not resilient. So the Oscars are happening and scheduled on April 25, 2021, at Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby Theater at the Hollywood & Highland Center. 

“There is no universe in which we are ever going to put anybody at risk,” said one of this year’s show producers, Steven Soderbergh, and for a good reason.

Along with other Oscar show producers Jesse Collins and Stacey Sher, Soderbergh has announced the COVID-19 protocols to be mandated into the Academy Awards 2021. 


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Producers of Contagion Are on the Job

While on the subject, it is significant to note that Soderbergh and Sher, having also produced the prescient 2011 film, Contagion, have tapped into their network of the leading epidemiologists in the world to make the event safe for everyone involved. 

As for the award function itself, Sher claimed this celebration was brought to make a case for why cinema matters. Collins further elaborated that this would be unlike any Oscar show ever attempted.

Unlike the TV shows everyone is used to, the Oscars will be more cinematic with 24 frames per second wide-screen coverage.


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All the details of the “manifesto” have not been made privy to the public eye. When asked if wearing a mask in the event is mandatory, Soderbergh replied, “Masks will play a very important role in the story of the evening. That topic is very central to the evening.”

Things Will Be Different This Year

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are no Zoom acceptance speeches this year. The producers have been adamant on that. Instead, the team of organizers will set up “satellite hookups.” Soderbergh insisted that this decision would allow for a more seamless show overall. 

Naturally, the red carpet event will be a lot less crowded as well. Moreover, the nominated songs will all be performed during the 90-minute pre-show. However, all the nominated songs will be performed in their entirety. 


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The winner of the said category will be announced on the show itself. A total of 17 presenters will be responsible for announcing and handing out the Oscars for all 23 categories. 

The February Date Was Impossible

However, all of this preparation did take some time though. The show was initially planned for February 28, 2021. After the Academy let go of the ambitious timeline, the Golden Globes ended up taking that date. 

The producers of the show have since agreed in unison that the February date was impossible. In Soderbergh's words: 

That February date would have been impossible. Things have so improved with the vaccines. It was a great decision to push the show.

Rightfully so, because as things are now, the Academy and the viewers are promised a glimpse into what will be possible when most people are vaccinated, and rapid testing is the norm. The producers want to accept the hurdles that the pandemic has brought forth, put it in its place, and move forward.