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Oscars 2021: Academy Awards Changed Rules Amid On-Going COVID-19 Pandemic Crises; Heavy Restrictions Will Be Imposed

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Written by Nidhi Rawat

On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which governs the awards ceremony, has made the announcement of some changes in the rules because of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

They are now going to let some movies to get released on the streaming platforms or else through digital release in order to qualify for the 2021 Oscars due to the coronavirus.

With the on-going crises, the cinemas have been shut down in order to maintain social distancing, because of this many biggest upcoming releases of this year has been put on hold and are getting delayed because of no production work.

By seeing the current scenario, the films are allowed for the release on a streaming service without a theatrical run and are still going to be eligible for this year’s Oscars, as per to the statement of the Academy which was announced on Tuesday.

However, it also doesn’t mean that each movie released on every streaming service is going to be qualified to be nominated for Best Picture, all of a sudden. For this, the board of governors have made the decision that a movie which will get a release on a streaming service must have a beforehand planned theatrical release date and should also meet certain guidelines and requirements that have been set up by them for the same.

The organisation also added in their announcement that it is going to summarize the two sound categories, Sound Editing as well as Sound Mixing, into one.

These days, Oscars eligibility has become a major question as stay-at-home along with social distancing orders has led to both the termination of major film festivals as well as the closure of cinema halls.

Earlier, to get the Oscars eligibility, a film needed to have a theatrical run in a Los Angeles County commercial theatre for minimum seven-day in order to be considered in the nominee. As of now, the films that had an earlier planned theatrical release date but are now made accessible on an on-demand service might qualify for Best Picture as well as for other categories as well.

Though, it is only a temporary solution for the Academy for this on-going situation. As soon as the situation will get under control and theatres will reopen, all those studios that want their films to be eligible will have to release them into theatres once again for at least seven days in running.

The statement further added, the Academy is increasing its number of qualifying theatres further than Los Angeles in order to consist of New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, as well as Atlanta. As per to the press release, it notes that due to the shifting landscape surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic across the world, all rules, as well as matters of eligibility, are now subject to change.

In addition to that, all the members of Film Academy are now able for voting in the first round for International Feature Film, the category previously known as Best Foreign Language Film.

The board has also announced that for a film score to be qualified in the Original Score category, it should have 60 per cent original music. While talking about sequels, on the other hand, along with franchise films, there should also be a minimum of 80 per cent new music.

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Nidhi Rawat

Nidhi is conscientious and hard-working. Writing is her passion. She loves to explore the world and tell everyone through her art of writing. She excels in wisdom. Being an extrovert, she never fails to amuse people around her. She believes that optimist and pessimist make the society but being neutral makes us human.