In a first-ever move, the Academy, organisers of the apex Film and Television awards, Oscars, has announced that it would consider movies released straight to stream for eligibility across various categories of the award show.
The Academy noted that the temporal eligibility rule was inevitable in the wake of the global effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the film industry. Since the global outbreak, film theatres and film festival organisers have been forced to shut their doors.
However, the new Oscar eligibility rule stipulates that only movies originally billed for theatrical release but forced to be made available on commercial streaming platforms will be considered. Academy President, David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson, stated:, “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.
“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.” The International Feature Film category will also undergo some procedural changes as Academy members will now be allowed to participate in preliminary voting.