Yesterday it was announced that the 2021 Oscars would be delayed by two months – and according to a member of the Academy the shift to April is a “much needed boost” for films hoping to qualify.
As reported by Variety, the unnamed member said, “This is a much needed boost for those films who may have been stalled in post-production” – referencing the vast number of films that have had to shift release dates as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The date shift has been accompanied by a change in the eligibility window, with films released up to 28th February, 2021 now eligible for consideration, as opposed to the usual cut-off of 31st December.
In announcing the change, Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said, “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.”
This will come as welcome news for many films – including Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel and the Elvis Presley biopic from Baz Luhrmann – which had reportedly previously been considering giving up on an Oscars run this year.
Few films have announced new official opening dates at this stage, but it’s likely the change will mean the usual glut of films aiming for Oscar glory will now be released in the US in the first two months of 2021 – with UK release dates normally following a month or two later.
Nominations are set to be announced for the awards on 15th March 2021, with the ceremony taking place on 25th April – while the dates of many other awards ceremonies for next year, including the Golden Globes, are still up in the air.
An awards consultant was quoted as saying, “Who knows what awards season is going to look like? But at least we know when the Oscars are. That’s a good start.”
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