With the end of the year upon us, another round of awards is currently being unveiled, this time with a few dashings of market commentary. As in previous years, the main event is the Oscars, which will be announced on Sunday, January 24th, 2021. While the main focus is of course on the award winners, this year’s awards show has been a much-needed beacon of hope for an industry that has been severely impacted by the pandemic.
Despite the disruption and chaos, the film industry has continued to produce amazing films that deserve recognition. This year’s award nominees have been some of the most diverse and innovative ever seen, with blockbusters (Tenet, Wonder Woman 1984) to critically acclaimed independent films (The Father, One Night in Miami). No matter what the result is, the industry looks back with pride at the sheer variety that was achieved this year.
Aside from the awards, there has been a refreshing reference to the issue of the film industry’s labor market and its workers. The need for better wages and working conditions for film crew, cast, and production staff has been a growing issue in the months leading up to the awards show. However, the Oscars also provides the opportunity for a potential change to come. With this in mind, the annual award show has shifted its focus to include a spotlight on these issues and an acknowledgment of its responsibility in making this happen.
All of this combines together to make the Oscars an especially poignant event this year. It is not only an opportunity to recognize the impressive efforts of filmmakers, it also provides a much-needed reminder of the labor market in the film industry – and the need for improvement. Change may still be a while away, but it is heartening to see the increased emphasis that the Academy is placing on these issues.