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While President Trump trumpets the imminent arrival of a vaccine, the animation community, for one, is telling a different story. Several events scheduled into the spring have confirmed that their next edition will be a virtual affair, with more sure to follow.

The 48th Annie Awards will be held virtually, ASIFA-Hollywood has announced. The event, which is normally held in L.A., is scheduled next year for April 16. While the Annies usually take place in late January or early February, this year’s award season has been knocked back a few months by the pandemic.

Jerry Beck, president of ASIFA-Hollywood, said: “One particular advantage of this year’s virtual event is the participation of our international members — artists, animators, and filmmakers — who will be on hand for the first time to celebrate this year’s honorees, nominees, and winners.”

Sue Shakespeare, the organization’s vice president, added: “The decision to go virtual was difficult, but we feel it is the best way to share this year’s animation talent across broadcast and feature productions without the fear of endangering the hundreds of guests who gather each spring to celebrate animation’s best.”

Kidscreen Summit, one of the most important children’s entertainment conferences on the yearly calendar, will take place online from February 8 to March 5. The event normally happens in Miami, Florida.

The organizers explained the change: “Ongoing Covid-19 uncertainty has unfortunately made it impossible to plan a live event in 2021. So Kidscreen has shifted gears to build a robust virtual event experience…continuing its longstanding tradition of delivering the year’s best business networking in a fun and dynamic way.”

GLAS Animation Festival, which is based in Berkeley, California, will take place next year as “a full-scale virtual experience.” The event is scheduled for March 15–21. Earlier this year, GLAS became one of the first festivals to cancel its in-person event as the pandemic swept into the U.S. It has since held a series of interviews and other events on its Twitch channel.

Commenting on next year’s edition, the organizers said: “We want to recreate everything that makes attending a festival feel special, from the context of the curation, elevating the work, making new friends, and networking at social events. This will be a robust and exclusive event using a platform with top-of-the-line security that will ensure we can play the latest and most exciting releases.

“With the next generation of curators at the helm, we’re determined to make this a virtual festival experience unlike any other. We’ll also be hosting a small version in person in Los Angeles in the summer of 2021, health and safety permitting.”

Stay tuned to Cartoon Brew for updates on next year’s event schedule.

Image at top by I G used under CC BY 2.0 license

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