• C.J. Edmunds

Streaming eligibility for the Oscars

Even the mighty have fallen.


We're not just talking about Goliath here but Hollywood.


The pandemic is certainly forcing the film industry to adopt a new normal and to even create it.  Because everyone is most certainly at home consuming content after content, the filmmakers, and most certainly those that have the power and machinery to push it forward to consumers have taken notice. In a move that is certainly in line with the times, the Oscars is giving a one-time-only consideration to include movies that are available for streaming or on-demand to compete in the Best Picture category next year!

Apart from this one-time consideration, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also consolidated the category of sound editing and sound mixing into one "Sound" Category. The Academy took into consideration the fact that the forced closure of theatres was implemented due to the pandemic that is Covid 19. The previous ruling was that only movies with a "planned theatrical release" would be eligible and along with that films that have had a week-long theatrical run at the very least will be allowed and will qualify for consideration.

Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson reiterated that the organization's commitment to the theatrical experience is "unchanged and unwavering." The Academy has actually faced pressure to relax its rules as Netflix, especially, has been pushing for inclusion in the awards competition.

The date for the 93rd annual Academy Awards is still set on Feb. 28 of next year, although the Academy acknowledged that additional changes might be necessary, as this will be "based on national guidelines, state-mandated government orders, and Academy-determined best practices." And since the recent Oscar telecast garnered low ratings, the board also approved additional changes, which now allows ALL members to vote in the international film category, which was then known as Best Foreign-Language Film.  The Academy also announced and decided that the current award season will be the last in which studios are allowed to distribute DVD screeners to voters. Citing environmental concerns, distribution of the films up for nomination will shift to digital versions in 2021.

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