Film Independent Moves Spirit Awards Again; Show Will Air in Primetime 3 Days Before Oscars

Spirit Awards Tent_2 - Getty - H 2020
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The move is a break from tradition, said organizers of the show, which typically takes place the day before the Oscars in an afternoon ceremony held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica.

Another awards show has shifted gears — again — amid the pandemic.

Film Independent said Thursday that its Spirit Awards, which are typically held during the daytime in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica the day before the Oscars, will now "break tradition" and air in a primetime ceremony at 10 p.m. ET on April 22, three days before the Academy Awards.

The show, which had already moved from its originally scheduled date of Feb. 27  to April 24 due to the pandemic, will remain on IFC and also stream simultaneously on AMC+.

The nominations will be announced at 10 a.m. ET on Jan. 26 by Laverne Cox, Barry Jenkins and Olivia Wilde. The categories will include the addition of several previously announced TV categories.

"While 2020 left a lot to be desired, it was an amazing year for film and TV," Film Independent president Josh Welsh said. "Visual storytellers with powerful and unique voices brought us so much joy and light during these difficult months."

Added Blake Callaway, executive director at IFC and SundanceTV: "The celebration of independent voices is more important today than ever before, and while we’ll miss the beach in Santa Monica, we still plan on making the Spirit Awards the most fun stop on the awards circuit."

The news follows on the heels of a similar move by SAG Awards organizers last week. That show also changed dates a second time, to avoid airing opposite the Grammys, and will now air as a one-hour special. That move came after Grammys organizers postponed their own show to March 14 as COVID-19 cases surge in Los Angeles, where the ceremony was set to be held.

Several other awards shows, including the Oscars,  also have been postponed due to the pandemic.