The 2021 Academy Awards Pushed Back By Two Months

The new move will give filmmakers the chance to finish and release their films without penalty and comes on the back of a number of shakeups at the Academy.

by | June 15, 2020 | Comments

Oscar Statuette
(Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

It was the news nearly everyone was expecting: The 2021 Academy Awards have officially been pushed back by almost two months.

The ceremony was originally scheduled for February 28, 2021, but will now be held April 25, 2021.

In a statement, Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said: “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. 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 museum mentioned, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, was due to open this December but its opening has also been pushed back to April.

The move to push the ceremony back comes on the back of new eligibility rules the Academy had already shared. As Variety reports: “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, 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.”

New dates for release qualification could make the coming January and February, usually a dead time at the box office, an exciting time for movie fans with Oscar contenders usually slated for Fall hitting the big screen through the winter.

It’s been a big week for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Last Wednesday, it was announced that Selma director Ava DuVernay was among six new members elected to the board of governors. The new members’ inclusion has tilted the scales of membership toward more diversity, though women still make up just under half of members, and people of color just 12 of 54 members.

The Board of Governors also announced a new set of initiatives aimed at equity and inclusion, including a commitment to a full 10 Best Picture nominees every year from 2022 onward.

Below are key dates for the 2021 Academy Awards:

  • Preliminary voting begins: February 1, 2021
  • Preliminary voting ends: February 5, 2021
  • Oscars shortlists announcement: February 9, 2021
  • Nominations voting begins: March 5, 2021
  • Nominations voting ends: March 10, 2021
  • Oscar nominations announcement: March 15, 2021
  • Oscars nominees luncheon: April 15 2021
  • Final voting begins: April 15, 2021
  • Museum gala: April 17, 2021
  • Final voting ends: April 20, 2021
  • Oscars: April 25, 2021
  • Museum public opening: April 30, 2021

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