Oscars extend this year’s eligibility season, push 2021 ceremony to April 25
With so many movies moving their release dates to next year, industry folks started to wonder what the 2021 Oscars would be like, when they would happen, and if they'd even happen at all. Well, The Academy has now announced that the 2021 Academy Awards ceremony will happen on April 25 instead of its usual winter date, and that the eligibility season will be extended to February 28. “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,” said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson in an official statement.
The Academy announced in April that films that got streaming-only releases would be eligible "for this Awards year only." Usually a film must have a week-long theatrical release in Los Angeles County to be eligible for the Oscars. That said, films do have to have had a scheduled theatrical release date to qualify.
Also announced is that the Sound Mixing and Sound Editing awards will now be combined into the Best Sound Award (which almost always went to the same winner each year already).
It still remains to be seen what the 2021 Oscars will be like. Will they be virtual/Zoom-style? A paired-down ceremony with just the nominees? Stay tuned.