Oscars Delayed By A Month As Pandemic Rules Extend

by Yinka Akanbi

Organisers of the Academy Awards have announced the postponement, for a second consecutive time, the 94th edition of its awards but restated that relaxed eligibility rules allowing films to skip movie theatres would be kept in place due to the pandemic.

The Academy Awards will now take place on March 27, 2022, exactly a month later than originally planned, and is set to return to its traditional venue at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.

Usually, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences requires at least a seven-day run in Los Angeles theaters for movies to be eligible for Hollywood’s biggest prize.

With big screens closed, those rules were relaxed last year, in what was widely seen as a boost for movies on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video.

“This year, which is still impacted by the pandemic, eligibility requirements for the 94th Academy Awards will be consistent with the addendums made for the 93rd Awards season,” said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a statement.

Films released at theaters in five major cities outside Los Angeles will remain eligible, and the changes are set to be extended into the following year’s Oscars, and potentially beyond.

However, with US movie theaters now largely reopened and film production accelerating again, last year’s decision to extend the calendar window in which films can be released and still qualify for Oscars will not be repeated.

Films wishing to contend for next year’s Oscars must be released by December 31.

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