The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Tuesday that its event for February 28, 2021, will take place with a couple of changes.
A major change, made by the Academy, was the inclusion of streamed films for Best Picture eligibility, whereas previously films distributed by streaming sites needed to hit theaters for a minimum of seven days in order to meet requirements.
The Academy also consolidated Sound Mixing and Sound Editing categories.
“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 under these provisions,” the Academy stated on its website.
It also highlighted the points: “1. The film must be made available on the secure Academy Screening Room member-only streaming site within 60 days of the film’s streaming or VOD release; 2. The film must meet all other eligibility requirements.”
This rules exemption will no longer apply for further editions of the show, the Academy 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,” said Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson.
He addeed: “Nonetheless, the historically tragic COVID-19 pandemic necessitates this temporary exception to our awards eligibility rules. The Academy supports our members and colleagues during this time of uncertainty. We recognize the importance of their work being seen and also celebrated, especially now, when audiences appreciate movies more than ever.”
Going forward, the awards categories of Sound Mixing and Sound Editing will be combined into one category, Best Sound.