Academy Awards to break traditionMark
The Academy Awards have traditionally been awarded only to films first shown on the big screen, but it seems that the current Covid-19 pandemic has changed all that, at least for the time being.
The Academy has announced that the 2021 Oscars will include new films that have been streamed first, as a direct result of the pandemic. This new criteria is a direct result of the current global lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures that have been imposed by governments.
Movie-goers, who would have usually visited their local cinema, are now turning to the many streaming options available, with many new films choosing to debut with on-demand services. Film festivals worldwide have been put on hold too, such as the Cannes Film Festival and South by Southwest. The Academy has emphasised that these unusual measures are only temporary and only applies to 2020 releases.
It is hoped a return to the usual criteria in 2021 will follow. President of the Academy, David Rubin said:
“The Academy firmly believes there is no greater way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a theatre. Our commitment to that is unchanged and unwavering.”
Tradition dictates, that for a film to be eligible for one of the coveted engraved awards, it must have had at least a seven-day run in a Los Angeles county theatre for it to be considered. The changes mean that films that had planned a theatre release, but had since been made available to on-demand services, would still fulfil the criteria for Best Picture and other categories.