The coronavirus pandemic has seriously affected people and their livelihoods. In the midst of all this, productions and other entertainment industry events have also suffered tremendously. And the latest event to be hit by the pandemic is the Oscars.
The Academy Awards were supposed to take place on 28 February, 2021, but has been pushed back until 25 April. In the light of this, organisers have agreed to extend the eligibility window beyond 31 December 2020 – to the end of February. That means that films releasing between January 1, 2021, and February 28, 2021, will be eligible for an Oscars entry.
The Oscars 2021 has been in quite the limbo for the past few months. Speculations were rife as to whether the event will be pushed back or not.
“For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times,” Academy president David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a press release. “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.”
Keeping in line with the Oscars, the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) have been pushed back as well. It will now take place on 11 April.
The date extension has probably taken place keeping in mind the fact that a lot of movies could not be released due to the pandemic. Work has also halted on a number of major productions. The delay in movie release has caused a ripple effect for studios, who have had to push back other movies to accommodate the previous ones.
It is also a matter of contention as to how the Oscars will be presented in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Although a lot of conferences and conventions have gone digital due to the pandemic, ABC has told Variety that they are yet to make a decision on the matter.
“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 that also captures the excitement of the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures,” ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke told Variety.
Notably, the Oscars have been delayed thrice before this. Once in 1938 due to the LA flooding, in 1968 after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, and in 1981 after the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.
The nominations for the Oscars are expected to be announced on March 15, 2021.