This week we’ve seen the Sundance Film Festival cancel all in-person events, making this the second year in a row it will be an all-virtual event. It’s near-inevitable we will see knock-on effects through, at the minimum, the rest of the early 2022 festival calendar. Entertainment attorney Brandon Blake has more for us.
January Festival Change
Sundance, one of the first major festivals of the year, was scheduled to take place in the 10 days after its January 20th opening in Park City, Utah. The decision to move the festival back online has been taken as concerns about the easy spread of the Omicron Coronavirus variant and an increasing infection rate once again putting pressure on mass events.
The festival had hoped that booster shots and proof of vaccination would allow for a modified in-person event schedule, alongside masks and limited capacities. However, they’ve decided to move to virtual events and film screenings instead, with satellite screenings across the country between January 28th and 30th.
Golden Globes Also Changes
While the HFPA went ahead with the 2022 Golden Globes, it was also a severely stripped-down event. No audience or media allowed, again driven by COVID-19 concerns. Interestingly, they also allowed several HFPA members and some philanthropists to attend, honoring the entertainment-related charities the event has supported over the years.
Again, boosters and vaccines, negative PCR tests within 48 hours, masking, and social distancing were made mandatory. In their case, it is, at least, a distraction from the diversity issues that have plagued the organization over the last few years, but it’s symbolic of wider COVID issues still plaguing the entertainment industry.
These probably won’t be the last changes we see on the awards season and festival circuits for 2022. As always, the Blake & Wang P.A team will be on the front lines to keep you informed.