The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced it is postponing its Television Crafts Awards and Television Awards, due to growing plans of caution amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The awards were previously scheduled to take place on April 26 and May 17. Nomination announcements will also be delayed until further notice, as well as new official dates to follow.
The British Academy is taking measures to mitigate the spread of the virus by postponing the awards ceremony and monitoring the situation with government guidance. BAFTA released a statement on the matter Tuesday via a press release:
“Following the latest government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19), we regret to announce that the British Academy Television Craft Awards and Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards, originally scheduled for 26 April and 17 May respectively, will be postponed until later in the year.
“The announcement of the nominations, scheduled for next Thursday 26 March, will also be postponed until closer to the ceremony. We’re working with all our partners to explore options for new dates and we hope to be in a position to confirm them in the coming weeks. We are continually monitoring the situation to ensure we are prepared for the challenges we may face in the coming weeks and months. We are closely following the advice of the World Health Organisation, NHS and GOV UK/Public Health England, and the safety of our members, guests and staff remains our top priority. ,” BAFTA said in a statement.
The British film industry itself is enduring the closures of many cinema chains across the region due to the spreading coronavirus. Odeon, Cineworld, Vue, and Picturehouse are the latest movie chains to be closing down for the time being. Following the advice of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Monday, more businesses and local art house cinemas in the UK are expected to close in the coming weeks as citizens are advised to avoid public venues moving forward.
Some studios and distributors are grappling with the change by adding their newly released and forthcoming titles to VOD. Universal Studios recently announced that films like “The Invisible Man” and “The Hunt” would be available on VOD, with UK distributor Modern Films partnering up with Curzon Home Cinemas to add Haifaa Al-Mansour’s “The Perfect Candidate” for digital rental later this month.