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Everything You Need to Know About the 2021 Oscars

The date isn't the only thing that's changed.


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Update, Feb. 10, 2021: The Academy Awards plans to have a live show this year, Entertainment Weekly reports, though the Academy will be adapting and incorporating "multiple locations" to align with public safety regulations and create a unique show.

A spokesperson for the Academy says that the production team "is determined to present an Oscars like none other, while prioritizing the public health and safety of all those who will participate."

The plan includes an "in-person show our global audience wants to see, while adapting to the requirements of the pandemic" with a ceremony set to be broadcast live from multiple locations, including the Dolby Theatre.

Previously: Originally set for February 28, 2021, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced yesterday that the show would be postponed until April 25, 2021. Variety reported back in March that the Oscars ceremony would be rescheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The date is just one thing that's changing about next year's ceremony. In light of the Black Lives Matter movement and a push for inclusivity and diversity, the Academy announced that it would be adjusting certain criteria so that more films would be eligible for awards.

"The Oscars in-person telecast will happen," a representative from the Academy and ABC told Variety on December 1, 2020.

"The Academy has done a walkthrough of the Dolby recently to see all the multiple options," an awards publicist added. The theater seats 3,400.

What day is the 2021 Oscars ceremony?

According to Variety, the show will be pushed back by two months, going from February 28, 2021, to April 25, 2021.

"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."

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How did Academy change eligibility?

Films, documentaries, shorts, and songs released between January 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021, are eligible for next year's awards. Certain categories — animated feature film, documentary feature, documentary short subject, international feature film, animated short film, and live-action short film — have a submission deadline of December 1, 2020. For more general categories, including best picture, original score, and original song, must be submitted to the academy before January 15, 2021.

Are the categories changing?

Despite calls for Best Actor and Best Actress to be merged into one category, the usual categories will be included. However, the Academy announced that it would expand the Best Picture category to include 10 feature-length films. Since 2010, the number of films nominated has been inconsistent.

Will the show still be on TV?

The show was set to be aired on ABC and so far, a decision on how the telecast will work for 2021 still hasn't been determined.

"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.

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What about the Scientific and Technical Awards?

The Scientific and Technical Awards presentation was scheduled to take place on June 20, 2020. That event has been postponed as well, though a new date hasn't been announced.

How are the Oscars addressing diversity and inclusivity?

Last week, the Academy announced that it was partnering with the Producers Guild of America to "develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility by July 31, 2020." The Academy's board of governors added director Ava DuVernay to its roster ahead of the academy's new class announcement, which is set to take place this week and could bring more women and people of color to the establishment.

According to the New York Times, the Oscars will add a diversity requirement for eligibility, though that won't take effect until after the 2021 show. More specifics will be announced before the end of July.

"The need to address this issue is urgent," the academy's chief executive, Dawn Hudson, said in a statement. "To that end, we will amend — and continue to examine — our rules and procedures to ensure that all voices are heard and celebrated."

The Oscars could follow in the footsteps of the British Film Institute, where all entries in two British film categories — outstanding British film and outstanding debut by a British writer, director, or producer — require to meet "at least two of four diversity standards." Those criteria include "onscreen representation, themes, and narratives, industry access, and opportunities."


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