Oscars, Golden Globes Temporarily Change Eligibility Rules Due to COVID-19

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Both waive requirements for LA county screenings

Both The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced temporary changes to the eligibility requirements for their respective Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards on Tuesday, in light of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The 93rd Academy Awards will allow digitally released movies to be eligible, provided the film was already planned for a theatrical release, and is made available for streaming in the Academy Screening Room for Academy members within 60 days of the film's digital release. The Academy Awards typically only allow films that have at least a seven-day theatrical run within Los Angeles County to be eligible for the awards.

The Academy noted that all Los Angeles County movie theaters have been closed since March 16. When theaters reopen in the United States, the Academy plans to remove these temporary changes to the eligibility rules. However, the Academy will then allow films to qualify by playing not just in a Los Angeles County theater, but also in a venue in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Miami, or Atlanta.

For the 2021 Golden Globes, the awards will now consider all films that already had a planned screening in the greater Los Angeles area beginning from March 15 until theaters reopen, provided that distributors provide all HFPA members with a link or DVD for a screener of the film. The HFPA typically only allows films that screen theatrically, or are available on pay-per-view cable or pay-per-view digital delivery.

In addition, all Academy voters are now able to participate in the preliminary round of voting for the International Feature Film category. The Academy is also discontinuing DVD screeners, as well as all hardcopy material distribution, beginning in 2021 for the 94th Academy Awards as it transitions to digital screeners, materials, and invitations instead. The Academy announced that it will combine the Sound Mixing and Sound Editing award categories into one Best Achievement in Sound category. It will also change the requirement for the Music (Original Score) category to have a score composed of 60% original music, and a minimum of 80% new music for sequels and franchise films.

Sources: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Golden Globe Awards, Variety (Marc Malkin), IndieWire (Anne Thompson)

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