The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony will be postponed to April 25, 2021, two months after its originally scheduled date of February 28. The Academy worked closely with film studios and distributors to determine the timeframe that was needed to finish and release their uncompleted films, the organisation also received advice from the LA Department of Health to establish the rescheduled date. The format of the Oscar ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, ordinarily telecasted on ABC, has not yet been specified.
AMPAS has also extended release date eligibility requirements. Feature Films that have a qualifying release date between January 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021, will now be able to compete in next years Academy Awards. The submission dates for general entry and speciality categories have also been extended due to these momentous changes. The Academy does intend to return to its traditional calendar year qualifying timeframe in the future.
In a statement released by the Academy, president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson asserted “For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year. Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control”.
The rescheduling of the Oscars sets an unusual course ahead for next years film awards season. A domino effect already taking place as the date of the BAFTA film awards were moved following the Academy announcement, they will now be held two weeks before the Oscars, on April 11. We can now expect all other precursor awards shows including the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards to follow suit and adjust their dates as well. The film festival season which traditionally kicks off the six-month film awards season in September with the Venice, Telluride and Toronto film festivals, is also likely to be affected by the Academy’s announcement.
The new date will coincide with the also rescheduled opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which was originally set for a December 14 launch as announced by Tom Hanks at the most recent Oscars ceremony. The museum is sure to be highly placed on all cinephile bucket lists, described on the Academy Museum website as “the world’s premier institution dedicated to the art and science of movies…the Academy Museum will offer unparalleled exhibitions and programs illuminating the fascinating world of cinema. They will be immersive and dynamic and will tell the many stories of the movies—their art, technology, artists, history, and social impact—through a variety of diverse and engaging voices. The Academy Museum will tell complete stories of moviemaking—celebratory, educational, and sometimes critical or uncomfortable.”
Future eligibility windows and the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony date will be announced at a later date.
KEY DATES FOR THE 2020-2021 OSCAR SEASON:
Preliminary voting: February 1 – February 5, 2021
Oscars shortlist announcement: February 9, 2021
Nominations voting: March 5 – March 10, 2021
Oscar nominations announcement: March 15, 2021
Final voting: April 15 – April 20, 2021
Museum gala: April 17, 2021
Oscars: April 25, 2021
Museum public opening: April 30, 2021