This Monday, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that the 2021 Oscars will be postponed from its usual February date. Instead, the 93rd annual award ceremony will take place on April 25th, 2021.
Coronavirus restrictions pushed back many theatrical releases, and halted most film production this year. The Academy wants to be flexible and accommodating in light of the production delays.
The Academy’s Statement
President of the Academy David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in their 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. 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.”
The delay marks only the fourth time in history that the Academy Awards have been postponed. In 1938, the Academy rescheduled the ceremony after 100 people died in a Los Angeles flood. The Awards were delayed once again after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. The third postponement occurred after an attempted assassination of President Reagan, a Hollywood veteran himself.
New Eligibility Rules
In order to adjust to the recent lull in the film industry, the Academy will now be considering feature films released between January 1st, 2020 and February 28th, 2021.
For speciality categories, the cutoff for eligibility is a December 1st, 2020 release date. “Specialty categories” refer to the animated feature film, animated short film, documentary feature, documentary short subject, international feature film, and live action short film lists. General entry categories, including Best Picture, Best Score, and Best Original Song, will have a January 15th, 2021 deadline.
The Updated Schedule
Variety has reported the following timelines for Academy Award participation.
- Preliminary voting begins: Feb 1, 2021
- Preliminary voting ends: Feb. 5, 2021
- Oscars shortlists announcement: Feb. 9, 2021
- Nominations voting begins: Mar. 5, 2021
- Nominations voting ends: Mar. 10, 2021
- Oscar nominations announcement: Mar. 15, 2021
- Oscars nominees luncheon: April 15, 2021
- Final voting begins: April 15, 2021
- Museum gala: April 17, 2021
- Final voting ends: April 20, 2021
- Oscars: April 25, 2021
- Museum public opening: April 30, 2021