93rd Annual Academy Awards
Major Changes for 2021
The Academy has ruled that streamed films will be eligible, and the sound categories have been merged. The Academy is grappling with shuttered movie theatres and the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Films that were scheduled for theatrical release, that meet the other eligibility requirements and that are made available for Academy members to view on the organization’s members-only streaming service within 60 days of being made available on a publicly available streamer or VOD service, will be in the running. (This covers any and all films that scrapped their theatrical release due to the coronavirus crisis in favour of another method of reaching consumers).
The two sound Oscars — best sound editing and best sound mixing — have, following a period of study initiated and conducted by the governors of the sound branch, been consolidated into one, best sound (which will recognize both editors and mixers), bringing the number of Oscars that will be presented on the telecast from 24 to 23. Additionally, to be eligible for the best original score Oscar, at least 60 percent of a film’s music must be original, as opposed to “predominantly” original, the prior standard.
***Update as at 15 June 2020***
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said recently that the 93rd Academy Awards, originally scheduled for February 28, 2021, will now take place on April 25 2021 — the latest date ever since Oscar started the TV era in 1953.
Previously, the latest Oscars viewers have been able to watch was when The Sound of Music took Best Picture on April 18, 1966. It was also the first time the ceremony was telecast in color. This new date will be paired with the again delayed opening of the Academy’s new Museum of Motion Pictures, which moves from a December 14, 2020 opening to April 30, 2021. The gala opening will take place on Saturday, April 17, a week before Oscar Sunday. It is sure to be a momentous period and dizzying few days if AMPAS, coronavirus pandemic cooperating, can stick to this new timetable.
Of course, this sets a crazy course ahead for the next movie awards season. For the first time since Oscar’s earliest days, the eligibility requirements for movies is extended by two months. Movies that have a qualifying release date between January 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021 will now be able to compete in the next Academy Awards.
Submission dates for various categories are also updated due to these momentous changes. AMPAS says, however, that the intent going forward is to ultimately return to a regular calendar year. The last time there were split years was 1932-33, Oscar’s sixth year, where Fox’s Cavalcade won Best Picture.
We can now expect BAFTA, all the guild and other pre-cursor awards shows including the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards to follow suit and adjust their dates as well. The traditional fall film festival season, which traditionally kicks off the six-month movie awards season in early September at Venice/Toronto, is also likely to be affected by the actions of the Academy’s board
Future eligibility windows and the Oscar show date for 2022 will be announced at a later date, as will information regarding the 12th annual Governors Awards, which AMPAS confirms will not take place as usual this fall.
This year’s Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards presentation, which was scheduled for June 20 in Beverly Hills, has also been postponed to a later date to be determined.
Here are the key dates for the 2020-21 Oscar season:
Monday, February 1 2021
Preliminary voting begins
Friday, February 5
Preliminary voting ends
Tuesday, February 9
Oscar Shortlists Announcement
Friday, March 5
Nominations voting begins
Wednesday, March 10
Nominations voting ends
Monday, March 15
Oscar Nominations Announcement
Thursday April 15
Oscar Nominees Luncheon
Thursday April 15
Finals voting begins
Saturday, April 17
Tuesday, April 20
Finals voting ends
Sunday, April 25
Friday, April 30
Museum Public Opening
***Update as at 7 December 2020***
Emmy-nominated producer Jesse Collins, Oscar-nominated producer Stacey Sher and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh will produce the 93rd Academy Awards, Academy President David Rubin announced recently. It will be their first involvement with the Oscars, which airs live on ABC and broadcast outlets worldwide on Sunday, April 25, 2021.
“The upcoming Oscars is the perfect occasion for innovation and for re-envisioning the possibilities for the awards show. This is a dream team who will respond directly to these times,” said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “The Academy is excited to work with them to deliver an event that reflects the worldwide love of movies and how they connect us and entertain us when we need them the most.”
“We’re thrilled and terrified in equal measure. Because of the extraordinary situation we’re all in, there’s an opportunity to focus on the movies and the people who make them in a new way, and we hope to create a show that really FEELS like the movies we all love,” said Collins, Sher and Soderbergh.
“Jesse, Stacey and Steven are the ideal storytellers to harness the uniqueness of this moment and celebrate the artists who are dedicated to telling stories that stand the test of time,” said Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment. “By enlisting this incredibly talented team of television and film producers, I’m confident we will deliver a prestigious event that will be remembered for years to come.”
Collins has produced numerous awards shows and events including the Grammy Awards, BET Awards, UNCF An Evening of Stars, Black Girls Rock! and Soul Train Awards, and such television series and specials as “John Lewis: Celebrating a Hero,” “Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices,” “Change Together: From the March on Washington to Today,” “Sunday Best,” “American Soul,” “Rhythm + Flow” and “The New Edition Story.” He earned an Emmy nomination for the 61st Grammy Awards in 2019. Collins also has been tapped to co-executive produce the upcoming Grammy Awards and executive produce the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show, both in early 2021. He is the founder and CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment, a full-service television and film entertainment production company.
Sher earned Best Picture Oscar nominations for “Django Unchained” (2012) and “Erin Brockovich” (2000). She has produced or executive produced more than two dozen major motion pictures, including such notable films as “Pulp Fiction,” “The Hateful Eight,” “Contagion,” “Garden State,” “Man on the Moon,” “Out of Sight,” “Gattaca,” “Get Shorty” and “Reality Bites.” Her television credits include such series as “Mrs. America,” which earned 10 Emmy nominations, “Reno 911!,” “Into the Badlands” and “Sweet/Vicious.” She also served as an executive producer on the Oscar-winning documentary short subject “Period. End of Sentence.” (2018). Sher is currently a producer on the Aretha Franklin biographical film “Respect,” starring Jennifer Hudson, set for release in August of 2021.
Soderbergh won a Directing Oscar for “Traffic” in 2000 and earned a nomination for directing “Erin Brockovich” that same year. He also earned a writing nomination for “sex, lies, and videotape” (1989), his feature film directorial debut. A prolific writer, director, producer, cinematographer and editor, he has directed more than 30 films in a three-decade career, including “Magic Mike,” “Contagion,” the “Ocean’s” trilogy, “Out of Sight” and, most recently, “Let Them All Talk,” premiering this month. He also has produced or executive produced a wide range of projects for both film and television, including “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” “The Report,” “Ocean’s Eight,” “Citizenfour,” “Michael Clayton,” “Good Night, and Good Luck.” and two seasons of his own series, “The Knick.”
The 93rd Oscars will be held on Sunday, April 25, 2021, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
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