2021 Oscars Postponed to April

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Robert Couse-Baker

The Academy postpones the 2021 Oscars ceremony. (Courtesy PxHere)

By Oakley Burt, Arts Editor

 

The date for the 93rd Oscars ceremony has been pushed back to April 25, 2021, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This latest announcement comes almost two months after the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences first announced a change in film eligibility requirements, allowing for streaming films to be eligible this year only — subject to certain restrictions.

The Academy made the official announcement on June 15, delaying the awards eight weeks from the original awards date Feb. 28. The Academy also announced that this year’s Governors Awards gala, originally scheduled for November, has been cancelled. The December opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures was pushed to April 30, to coincide with the Oscars.

The new Academy Awards date comes with an extended eligibility period for films, allowing for feature films released between Jan. 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021, a chance for Best Picture consideration because of theater closures between March and June. Submissions for specialty film categories have been shifted as well. This extended period gives many films that were forced to shut down production in March a chance to finish production and reach an audience in theaters before the new deadlines.

“Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control,” David Rubin, the Academy’s President, and Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. “For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year.”

Prior to making the decision to push back the ceremony, the Academy consulted with the Los Angeles Department of Health, advising them to push the date as far as possible into the new year. “We find ourselves in uncharted territory this year and will continue to work with our partners at the Academy to ensure next year’s show is a safe and celebratory event,” Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement. The Academy’s announcement did not clearly state whether this year’s show on ABC would involve its usual red carpet and live audience.

This postponement marks the fourth in Oscars history since the Academy Awards were introduced in 1929. The first postponement came in 1938, due to catastrophic flooding in Los Angeles. The awards were postponed again in 1968, after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Academy Awards were last delayed in 1981, following the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

The delay of the Academy Awards has also resulted in postponements for another major Hollywood guild. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the guild behind the Golden Globes, has since changed dates from Jan. 11 to Feb. 28, occupying the previous Oscar’s slot.

Additional information regarding the 93rd Oscars and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences can be found on their website.

 

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