93rd Oscars to admit streamed films

Rules will change for one year only

by Jennie Kermode

Oscars on parade
Oscars on parade Photo: Prayitno

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that films first made available to the public on streaming or VoD platforms will be eligible for next year's Oscars.

Films will have to be made available on the Academy' secure member-only streaming site within 60 days of release and will have to meet all the other eligibility requirements that apply every year.

"The Academy firmly believes there is no greater way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a theatre. Our commitment to that is unchanged and unwavering," said Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson in a statement. "Nonetheless, the historically tragic Covid-19 pandemic necessitates this temporary exception to our awards eligibility rules. The Academy supports our members and colleagues during this time of uncertainty. We recognise the importance of their work being seen and also celebrated, especially now, when audiences appreciate movies more than ever.”

When cinemas open again, films will be able to qualify if they screen for two weeks in New York City, the Bay Area, Chicago, Miami or Atlanta, as well as in Los Angeles.

The Academy also announced that this will be the final year when film promoters are allowed to send physical screeners to those voting for the Oscars. It hopes that switching to online screeners will be more environmentally friendly.

Finally today, the Academy revealed that henceforth the categories Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing will be rolled into one. The shortlists for these categories are frequently identical and they often have the same winner. This year was a rare exception, with 1917 taking Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing going to Ford v Ferrari.

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