The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday that the 93rd Oscars ceremony, scheduled to be held on Feb. 28 in 2021, will move to April 25 “as a result of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19.”
“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,” Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a joint statement.
The neat year’s Oscars Award Show will continue to air live by ABC channel as planned, the statement said, noting that all of the Academy’s standard annual awards schedule, from preliminary voting to the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, will be changed to coincide with the Oscars.
The organization recently extended release date eligibility rules in response to the mass closures of movie cinemas for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19 pandemic, that has prevented many films from being shown in theaters.
A feature film now has a qualifying release date between Jan. 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021 and all movies will no longer be required to have a seven-day theatrical run in Los Angeles County.
The submission deadline for specialty categories, including animated feature film, documentary feature, documentary short subject, international feature film, animated short film and live action short film, is Dec. 1 of 2020.
The submission deadline for general entry categories, including best picture, original score and original song, is Jan. 15, next year.
“We find ourselves in uncharted territory this year and will continue to work with our partners at the Academy to ensure next year’s show is a safe and celebratory event,” said Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment.
“The intent going forward is to ultimately return to awarding excellence for films released in the January-December calendar year. Future eligibility windows and the Oscar show date for 2022 will be announced at a later date,” the Monday statement read.
This is the fourth time for the postponement of the Oscars. They were first delayed in 1938 after massive flooding in Los Angeles. In 1968, they were put on hold after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and again in 1981 following an assassination attempt on then President Ronald Reagan.