The Coronavirus pandemic has caused the closure of traditional movie theatres and delayed releases of new movies and shut down Hollywood Productions.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science realizes things are different now and tweaking it’s rules and will allow some movies released on streaming platforms and via digital release to qualify for the 2021 Oscars scheduled for February 28, 2021.
Not every movie on every streaming service will be eligible to be nominated for Best Picture and other categories. The board of governors decided that a movie which winds up on a streaming service must have a previously planned theatrical release.
This is closer to the usual qualifications movies must meet to be eligible, a list of requirements that typically include running for seven days theatrically in a commercial theater in Los Angeles County.
The change means Trolls World Tour which was supposed to be released into theaters but became a digital exclusive could still qualify for Best Animated Picture, despite its nontraditional release.
Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in press release “The Academy firmly believes there is no greater way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a theater. Our commitment to that is unchanged and unwavering. Nonetheless, the historically tragic COVID-19 pandemic necessitates this temporary exception to our awards eligibility rules.”
The Academy’s Board of Governors has approved rules and campaign regulations for the 93rd Academy Awards®.
The devastating COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of all Los Angeles County movie theaters as of Monday, March 16, 2020. Current Academy Awards rules (under Rule Two, Eligibility) require that a film be shown in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County for a theatrical qualifying run of at least seven consecutive days, during which period screenings must occur at least three times daily.
Until further notice, and for the 93rd Awards year only, films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are initially made available on a commercial streaming or VOD service may qualify in the Best Picture, general entry and specialty categories for the 93rd Academy Awards under these provisions:
- The film must be made available on the secure Academy Screening Room member-only streaming site within 60 days of the film’s streaming or VOD release;
- The film must meet all other eligibility requirements.
Source: The Verge