With the global health crisis leaving cinemas closed around the world and forcing many of 2020’s films to postpone their releases or forego a theatrical run in favour of direct-to-streaming premieres, both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have announced that they have altered the eligibility criteria for the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.
In both cases, the eligibility criteria has been relaxed with regards to film’s needing a qualifying theatrical run in Los Angeles, and films which previously had a planned theatrical release but have instead premiered on streaming or VOD services (for example, Trolls World Tour) will be open for consideration in all categories.
“The Academy firmly believes there is no greater way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a theater,” said Academy president David Rubin. ” 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.”
In addition to the eligibility changes, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has announced that it is combining the two Sound categories, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing, into one award for Best Achievement in Sound, reducing the total number of Oscar categories from 24 to 23.