Award example. Photo via Pixabay.
Award example. Photo via Pixabay.

The 2021 American Film Institute Awards gathering fell victim Monday to growing concerns about a surge in COVID-19 infections, with the organization announcing an indefinite postponement of the event.

“The goal of AFI Awards is to bring together the creative community at a private event founded in hugs and handshakes,” Bob Gazzale, AFI president and CEO, said in a statement. “Because that goal is not achievable at this time, we will be postponing the event until we can properly celebrate the artists in a manner worthy of the gifts they have given the world.”

The event, generally held as a luncheon, had been scheduled for Jan. 7 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

The AFI Awards honor what the organization dubs the top films and television programs of the year.

This year’s film honorees are “West Side Story,” “King Richard,” “CODA,” “Don’t Look Up,” “Dune,” “Licorice Pizza,” “Nightmare Alley,” “The Power of the Dog,” “tick, tick … BOOM!” and “The Tragedy of MacBeth.”

The AFI’s Television Programs of the Year are “Hacks,” “Maid,” “Mare of Easttown,” “Reservation Dogs,” “Schmigadoon!,” “Succession,” “Ted Lasso,” “The Underground Railroad,” “Wandavision” and “The White Lotus.”

The group also chose three projects this year to receive its Special Award — “Belfast,” “Squid Game” and “Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised.)”

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