The European Film Awards have announced a major shift in their dates. Starting in 2026, the European Film Academy honors will be held mid-January, smack in the middle of awards season and ahead of both the BAFTAs and the Oscars.
Traditionally, the EFAs are held in December, capping off the European cinema year. But under European Academy CEO Matthijs Wouter Knol and chairman of the board Mike Downey, the ceremony is undergoing a major overhaul and rebranding, intended to boost its profile and importance within the international film world.
“With the European Film Awards moving a month later to the beginning of the calendar year, European nominees and winners will be featured much more visibly within the international awards season including the Oscars,” the European Film Academy said in a statement Tuesday, announcing the date change.
The EFAs 37th edition will be held as planned in December 2024. The 38th EFAs will take place 13 months later in January 2026 and will celebrate the best European films from the previous year. The EFA nominations will be announced by mid-November each year. The new date will see the European Film Awards take place in the weekend after the Golden Globes, and prior to the closing of the nomination voting for the Oscars.
“The decision of the board to re-position the European Film Awards after almost four decades in December marks a fundamentally positive change as the event finally lands where it should be: front and center in the heart of the awards season, where it can create maximum impact for European candidates, as well as enhance the Academy’s role as a significant player in the global awards game,” said Downey. “This change puts the European Film Awards and, indeed, the best of European cinema in pole position during what is always a highly competitive awards period.”
The December date has long been a problem for the EFAs. Instead of highlighting and boosting European films, the event has often acted instead as a final victory lap for films that have long finished their awards’ run.
“It’s time for the European Film Awards to take a step up,” said Knol. “The date change automatically means a prolongation of our new initiative Month of European Film, the season at the end of the calendar year during which the Academy celebrates European cinema in 45 countries simultaneously.”
Going forward, the European Film Academy plans to build up the month of European Film into a “proper award season for films from Europe,” said Knol. “After the season has been established on our continent first, we are keen to explore strategic collaborations and reach audiences in other parts of the world as of 2026. Fans of European films live everywhere. We want to make people aware that European cinema exists, that it can be discovered more easily. We’d like to offer European cinema where people prefer watching films – from cinemas to streaming platforms.”
The European Film Academy said it took its decision to shift its dates after “ample consideration and ongoing conversations” with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and BAFTA, as well as with beginning-of-the-year. festivals Sundance, Göteborg, Rotterdam, and the Berlinale.
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