Discover How the ‘Oscars’ Is Changing Their Eligibility for 2021 Nominations

The Oscars had to change eligibility requirements for nominations due to theaters being closed down with no certainty of when they will open again.

For years, the Oscars have focused on the theatrical experience. They had a rule requiring that films must play for a week in a Los Angeles theater to be eligible for a nomination. Since the pandemic began, theaters across the nation have been closed down indefinitely. It could be months before they reopen again, so the Oscars had to rethink their rule.

The awards show has decided to now include movies that have debuted on a streaming platform such as Netflix or on-demand for the Best Picture nomination. If they did not make this change,  they would have had less than three months of films that would have been eligible. It was in their best interest to include streaming platforms and on-demand so there can be more options.

However, there are going to be certain requirements for these movies. In order to be nominated, the movies must have already scheduled a theatrical release before the nationwide shutdown. Some people are happy to see the Oscars make this adjustment while others still have some questions. Critics want to know what will happen to films that did not have a set date yet for the theatrical release. The Oscars decided they will look into those films to determine whether or not they were planned to be released this year.

It is still too early to tell if the Oscars will take place in 2021. Some wonder if the team should set up a virtual ceremony. Others suggest having a mega-ceremony in 2022 that will cover the two previous years of film. The Oscars say they will begin making these big decisions once it gets closer to the date.