Oscars: Motion Picture Academy breaks with DGA and will allow streaming movies to be eligible for one more year

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The Oscars broke ranks with the Directors Guild over award eligibility.

The Motion Picture Academy has announced that it will allow streaming movies to be Oscar-eligible for an additional season. The DGA said last week that it would not allow this and that only films shown in theaters would be eligible for their awards.

The Academy is sticking to the requirements set out last year.

The Academy’s Board of Governors has approved campaign rules and regulations for the 94th Academy Awards®.

As previously announced, the eligibility period for the Oscar review will revert to the standard December 31 deadline: a feature film must have an eligible release date between March 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. With the theatrical exhibit still affected by the pandemic this year, the eligibility requirements for the 94th Academy Awards will be consistent with the endorsements drafted for the 93rd Awards Season and can be found here. For films hitting theaters, the six eligible US metropolitan areas are Los Angeles County; new York City ; the bay area; Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; and Atlanta, Georgia, and apply to the General Entry categories as well as the Documentary and Short Film categories. After this year, the Academy intends to expand the qualification requirements for the 95th awards.

In addition, from the 94th Academy Awards, the Better image The category will be set at 10 nominees, rather than a fluctuating number of nominations from year to year. This had already been announced in June 2020.

In the International feature film category, the main rule changes made in the preliminary round of voting for the 93rd edition of the Awards and approved in January 2021 remain unchanged. This includes an expanded shortlist of 15 films and members from all branches of the Academy invited to register and participate in the preliminary voting and nomination rounds. Members must meet a minimum viewing requirement in order to vote in the category.

The Board of Governors approved other rule changes for the 94th awards, including:

  • In the Ring category, there will now be a preliminary round of voting for the Sound Award to determine a shortlist of 10 films. Before the nominations vote, members of the Sound Branch will be invited to a presentation of shortlisted achievements, similar to the process in the Visual Effects and Makeup & Hairstyle categories. The entire Sound Branch will vote to select the shortlist as well as the nominations.
  • In the Music (Original score) category, for a score to be eligible, it must include at least 35% of the film’s total music, reduced by 60%.
  • In the Music (original song) category, no more than five songs from the same movie can be submitted.
  • In the Documentary Short Subject, Animated short film and Live action short film categories, the preselection will increase from 10 to 15 films.

The submission deadlines are as follows:

Documentary Short Subject – Friday, October 15, 2021
Animated short film – Friday, October 15, 2021
Live Action Short Film – Friday October 15, 2021
Animated feature film – Monday, November 1, 2021
Feature documentary – Monday, November 1, 2021
International feature film – Monday, November 1, 2021
Original music – Monday, November 1, 2021
Original song – Monday, November 1, 2021
General registration categories – Monday, November 15, 2021

Campaign rules, which spell out how businesses and individuals can market to Academy members all films and achievements eligible for the 94th Academy Awards, have also been updated. As a reminder, shipments of DVDs, CDs and physical scenarios are interrupted from this year. Access to the Academy’s screening room will continue to be available for all eligible outings. Digital links to documents will be permitted.


Roger Friedman started his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years at Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid-1990s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and wrote for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, The New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the screenwriter and co-producer of “Only the Strong Survive”, a selection from the Cannes, Sundance and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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