The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed today that next year's Oscar ceremony has been pushed back to April 25, 2021 amid continuing concerns over the coronavirus.
“For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times. 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,” said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “This coming Oscars and the opening of our new museum will mark an historic moment, gathering movie fans around the world to unite through cinema."
The announcement came during a meeting of the Academy's 54-member board of governors on Monday. According to the Los Angeles Times, academy leaders believe a second wave of COVID-19 infections in the fall and winter means the risk of hosting large-scale events is too high in February.
“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,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment.
However, there is one bit of good news for everyone trying to win an Oscar next year - the eligibility period for consideration has been extended beyond the traditional December 31st deadline. The Academy says they will now consider feature films that have been released between Jan. 1, 2020 and Feb, 28, 2021.
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