Organizers of one of the most famous award ceremonies in the world, the Academy Awards or more commonly known as the Oscars, said on Tuesday that only the films released on streaming platforms or video on demand would be eligible for Oscars next year.
This decision came after cinemas and movie theaters remain closed in the United States and the rest of the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, according to the organizers, the change is temporary and applies only to the 2021 Oscars; it will be reversed once cinemas reopen across the US.
Academy President David Rubin and Chief Executive Dawn Hudson said, “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.”
This decision is the first of its kind in the history of the Academy Awards. Previously, a movie had to be screened in a movie theater in Los Angeles for at least seven days if it were to become eligible for an Oscar consideration. But since the theaters in the US closed their doors in mid-March, leading to major film releases being postponed, this restriction has been lifted for now.
The three main movie theater chains in the US – AMC, Cinemark, and Regal – said that they do not expect to reopen until late June or July. This prediction, however, depends on how the coronavirus pandemic plays out over the next few months.
Do you have any movies in mind that could be eligible for the next year’s Oscars and we could stream at home? Let us know your recommendations in the comments!