With the 2021 Academy Awards telecast just six weeks away, one of the weekend’s most star-studded events has announced that it’s going virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Motion Picture & Television Fund confirmed today that its 19th annual “Night Before” event will stream online April 24. The virtual “Night Before” is being designed and produced by Kerry Brown and his Rolling Live Studios. Also on the invite is chef Antonia Lofaso who is overseeing a curated VIP pre-event mixer that will be hosted by Billy Harris. The organization went virtual last fall for it’s pre-Emmy Awards celebration that was hosted by WME partner Richard Weitz and daughter Demi as part of their “RWQuarantunes” series.
It will be a big weekend for the organization as MPTF will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at this year’s Oscars, marking the first time an organization will be recognized with the honor. Award namesake Hersholt served as president of MPTF for 18 years — from 1938 until his death in 1956. It is being doled out during what is also a major year for MPTF as the org celebrates a 100 year anniversary as a safety net for entertainment industry members, working and retired.
“Along with the Academy’s recognition of MPTF’s inspiring humanitarian efforts during the pandemic, our ‘Night Before’ party this year will celebrate the resiliency of every working member of our film community,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of the MPTF board of governors. “On our 100th anniversary, we are excited to join with our nominees and friends to give thanks and look forward to a bright future for our industry.”