Golden Globes Changes Eligibility Rules for Foreign-Language Films Due to COVID-19

posted on by Adriana Hazra
Screening requirements suspended for eligible films

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announced on its official website on Friday that it is modifying the eligibility rules for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globe Awards in light of the effects of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The updated rules do not require that films are "released in their country of origin during the 15-month period from October 1 [2019] to December 31 [2020] prior to the awards" in order to be eligible.

The HFPA describes the new eligibility requirements:

Foreign-language motion pictures that had a bona fide theatrical release planned to begin in their country of origin during the period from March 15 until a date to be determined by HFPA when cinemas in that country have generally reopened, may instead be released in any country in any format (e.g. a motion picture format such as in theatres or on pay-per-view or a television format such as subscription streaming service, subscription cable channel, broadcast television, etc.) and will still be eligible for the Golden Globe foreign-language motion picture awards.

Additionally, the HFPA suspended its rule for required screenings for all Active and Lifetime members due to the closure of all theaters and screening rooms in Los Angeles. The association has laid down new screening requirements in their stead:

a. Foreign language motion pictures must be screened for all Active and Lifetime HFPA members. Foreign language motion pictures should not be submitted for Golden Globe consideration until an official screening date for HFPA members has been approved by the HFPA. Foreign language motion pictures screened for HFPA members after November 1 each year need not be (and may not request that they be) the only event at that time on the HFPA members' calendar.

b. Foreign language motion pictures should be screened and made available as early in the year as possible to avoid the end of year crush but in no event later than the date given in the official Golden Globe Awards Timetable. However, foreign language motion pictures do not need to satisfy the one-week from release date standard for official screenings for English language motion pictures.

Two anime feature films have been nominated in previous Golden Globe Awards. Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises was nominated for the "Best Foreign Language Film" award at the 71st Golden Globes and Mamoru Hosoda's Mirai was nominated for the "Best Motion Picture – Animated" award at the 76th Golden Globes. The Golden Globes changed its rules in 2014 to stipulate that foreign animated films must compete in the Best Animated Feature category, and are no longer eligible for the Best Foreign Language Film category.

The date of the upcoming 78th annual Golden Globe Awards is yet to be decided. The HFPA stated that as it continues assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on motion picture distribution and exhibition, it may make more procedural changes.

Source: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's website

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