2021 Academy Awards Pushed Back from February to April Due to COVID-19


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Monday afternoon brought big news from Hollywood — not surprising news, but news nonetheless, regarding the 2021 Academy Awards: They will now take place on April 25, rather than the previously scheduled date of Feb. 28.

The decision comes as a result of caution put in place by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has halted all major forms of “life as we know it” a great deal over the past few months.

Via Variety, which reported in May that discussions were underway about postponing the Oscars due to the pandemic:

“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,” Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. “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.”

Due to the schedule change, the deadlines for eligibility for the 2021 Academy Awards have also been tweaked accordingly:

A bit more on the deadline extension, again via Variety:

The organization recently extended release date eligibility rules. A feature film must now have a qualifying release date between Jan. 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021. The submission deadline for specialty categories (animated feature film, documentary feature, documentary short subject, international feature film, animated short film and live action short film) is Dec. 1, 2020. The submission deadline for general entry categories, including best picture, original score and original song, is now Jan. 15, 2021.

“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 said in a statement.

Concern over the pandemic is still causing significant changes across all industries, even as cities and states are phasing in “reopening” strategies, with the Academy Awards the latest to see its 2021 plans upended out of an abundance of caution.

Recent reports have seen an abundance of independent music venues concerned about their continued existence through the pandemic, and nearly every major concert or tour planned for the rest of 2020 has been postponed or cancelled outright.


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