Coronavirus and social distancing are forcing changes on the annual AACTA awards organized by the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Awards and the Australian Film Institute. The event will be held mostly online and be accompanied by a new screen festival.

In place of the usual lunchtime teaser event, AACTA Industry Awards will be announced on Friday Nov. 27, and delivered online only.

The main AACTA Awards ceremony will be held in-person on Monday Nov. 30 at The Star Sydney. But it will be arranged over two sittings in the interests of guest safety, and attendance will be limited to manage a significantly reduced venue capacity. Highlights will be broadcast nationally on Channel 7 on Wednesday Dec. 2.

Before all that, nominations for the awards will be announced in three batches on Oct. 5, Nov. 1 and Nov. 11.

Details of the online screen festival are currently scant. “This exciting, new online festival will be available to all, spanning all forms of screen entertainment from social media and short films to insider chats with award-winning cast and crew of some of the world’s biggest television and film productions, and will be held from Friday, November 27 alongside the AACTA Awards,” organizers said in a statement.

“2020 also marks 10 years since the inaugural AACTA Awards and this milestone will be celebrated by looking back on Australian screen achievements and triumphs here and overseas from across the decade. This year’s event will also incorporate the exciting addition of the AACTA Audience Choice Awards,” they added.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Australia has recorded just over 27,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and suffered 888 deaths as a result.

https://variety.com/2020/film/asia/coronavirus-shakes-up-aacta-awards-australia-1234788651/