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The Academy Has Officially Changed The Rules For The Oscars Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic

The Academy Has Officially Changed The Rules For The Oscars Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic
April 29, 2020 - 15:12 / Sarah Schulz

The 2021 Awards season has yet to be cancelled amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, however The Academy did make an announcement about a change in eligibility! 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced some amendments to the rules and regulations for the 93rd annual Oscars Awards ceremony. Taking into account the ongoing global pandemic, streamed films will be eligible "for this awards year only." 

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93rd Oscars: Streamed Films Are Now Eligible For "Best Picture"

The statement reads as follows: "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."

Laura Dern, winner of the Actress in a Supporting Role award for "Marriage Story" during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards on February 09, 2020

The statement comes as a response to new films premiering on streaming platforms rather than theatres amid cinema closures. They continued, "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."

2021 Awards Season Will Be Different

Another change they announced is the fact that there will now only be one sound category: "Best Achievement in Sound" which now combines editing and mixing. 

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The announcement comes after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made similar adjustments for the next Golden Globes ceremony. The 93rd Oscars are still currently set for February 28, 2021.