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Oscars revise eligibility rules due to COVID-19 pandemic, films released digitally will now be eligible


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is putting a temporary hold on its previous qualification that films require a seven-day theatrical run in order to be eligible for the award.

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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has pushed the Academy Awards to temporarily change its eligibility rules as the board of governors have allowed films released digitally in theatres this year to qualify. The Tuesday meeting put a temporary hold on its previous qualification that films require a seven-day theatrical run in order to be eligible for the award.

According to a report in Variety.com, all films on streaming services are not automatically eligible. The films, which released digitally, must have initially planned for a theatrical release, and they should also be made available on the Academy Screening Room member-only streaming site within 60 days of their digital release.
 
In a statement, AMPAS president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson 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. 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," they continued.

Film theatres across much of the world are shut due to the coronavirus crisis and they look to remain shut for at least the next few months. When they do re-open, the old rule of a seven-day theatrical run will be reinstated. However, the Academy will also expand the number of qualifying theaters beyond Los Angeles County, as it was originally, and include theatres in New York City, the Bay Area, Chicago, Miami and Atlanta. Films which released digitally do not have re-release in theatres either.

Apart from the eligibility rule, the AMPAS is also combining the sound mixing and sound editing categories, as the sound branch of the Academy had requested. The 93rd Oscars are due to be held on 28 February 2021.

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Oscars Coronavirus