Amidst the uncertainty in the film industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the majority of this year’s theatrical releases, the Academy has confirmed their stance over next year’s Oscars ceremony.
The Academy announced via Twitter its new air date accompanied by a list of key dates in regards to eligibility. The 93rd Academy Awards has officially been delayed to April 25, 2021, approximately two months later than its usual spot during awards season. Consequently, announcement dates in preparation for the show were also shifted appropriately, with the nominations announcement airing March 15, 2021. Most peculiar is the extension of the awards eligibility being moved from December 31st, 2020 to February 28, 2021. There was much speculation circulating the eligibility of a film due to its date since a multitude of films have had to be delayed from this year to the early next year, so it a pleasant surprise to see the Academy offer flexibility for the awards.
It's true! Next year's #Oscars will happen on April 25, 2021.
Here's what else you need to know:
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) June 15, 2020
Though it is not common, the extraordinary circumstances the industry is facing today are not the first to delay the Academy Awards. It has occurred three times before, the last time being in 1981 due to President Ronald Reagan’s assassination attempt. It is also not the first time the eligibility window has been modified, though it has only happened once before in 1934, where the 6th Academy Awards recognized films released over a period of 17 months from August of 1932 to December of 1933.
The Academy has not made an official decision on the nature of the ceremony, be it virtual or in person. It can be safe to deduce that the board members are evaluating the effects of the pandemic and an eventual plan of re-introduction for live events and large gatherings. Until then, the film industry is continually making adjustments to their calendars amidst the gradual re-opening of theaters across the country.
Do you think the new eligibility dates will affect what we see nominated next March? Would a virtual ceremony be possible if need be or should the awards ceremony be further postponed? Let us know in the comments below!
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