Everything to Know About the 93rd Oscars: Nominees, Presenters and What Makes This Year Different

The 2021 Oscars have already broken new ground, but history can still be made on Sunday

The 93rd annual Academy Awards are right around the corner and Hollywood's biggest awards show is set to make history.

With the COVID-19 pandemic derailing any plans of large gatherings, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has worked out a creative way to still retain the integrity of the show, while also following strict safety protocols ahead of Sunday's telecast.

This year's films provided not only entertainment but also new starpower and new Oscar nominees, among them Minari's Youn Yuh-jung, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm's Maria Bakalova, Sound of Metal's Paul Raci and new directors in Lee Isaac Chung, Emerald Fennell and Chloé Zhao.

Listen below to the episode of our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on the 2021 Oscars.

Here's everything to know about what makes this Oscars show a standout from previous years.

Steven Yeun; Chloe Zhao; Youn Yuh-jung
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images; Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Han Myung-Gu/WireImage

History-Making Nominees

This year's Oscar nominees are among the most diverse class that the Academy has ever hosted.

For the first time ever, more than one woman has been nominated in the Best Director category with Nomadland's Zhao and Promising Young Woman's Fennell earning nominations.

Zhao is also making history on her own as the first woman of Asian descent to net the honor. The first Asian—and first person of color— to ever win a Best Director Oscar was Ang Lee in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain. (Lee won again in 2012 for Life of Pi.)

In the acting race, Minari is paving way for new Asian talent and visibility with its stars Steven Yeun and Youn making history with Yeun becoming the first Asian-American actor nominated for Best Actor and Youn as the first South Korean actress to be nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

Riz Ahmed also broke new ground by becoming the first Muslim actor to be nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Sound of Metal.

Viola Davis broke her own Oscars record this year when she earned her fourth nomination for Best Actress for her performance in Netflix's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. She is currently the most Oscar-nominated Black actress ever.

RELATED VIDEO: First-Time Oscar Nominees Amanda Seyfried, Maria Bakalova, Yuh-Jung Youn & Paul Raci React

The Oscars Will 'Look Like a Movie'

In keeping with the theme of storytelling, the Academy has planned a unique show with Emmy award winner Glenn Weiss tapped to direct the show as more of a theatrical experience rather than a TV show.

The director comes on as Oscar producers — Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh — said the show will feel different this year.

"Our plan is that this year's Oscars will look like a movie, not a television show, and Glenn has embraced this approach and come up with ideas of his own on how to achieve this. We're thrilled to have him as part of the brain trust," the producers said in a press release.

As audiences settle in to view the ceremony, they'll see some of their favorite stars "cast" as presenters including las year's Oscar winners Brad Pitt, Renée Zellweger, Joaquin Phoenix and Laura Dern.

Also announced in the presenter line-up so far are Halle Berry, Harrison Ford, Reese Witherspoon, Angela Bassett, Bong Joon Ho, Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Regina King, Marlee Matlin, Rita Moreno and Zendaya.

Two of this year's nominees, Davis and Ahmed, will also present.

Oscars presenters
Kevin Winter/Getty; Frazer Harrison/Getty; Desiree Navarro/WireImage; Jamie McCarthy/Getty

"In keeping with our awards-show-as-a-movie approach, we've assembled a truly stellar cast of stars," said show producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh in a statement earlier this month. "There's so much wattage here, sunglasses may be required."

Those in attendance at the Los Angeles show will be asked to wear face masks at all times while off camera, but as soon as the spotlight turns on them, the face masks will come off in keeping with the movie-like show.

Audience capacity will also be capped at 170 people with audience members being rotated in and out of the ceremony, according to Variety.

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A third of the Oscars production budget has been allotted to COVID-19 safety protocols, according to The New York Times.

On the topic of dress code, the producers previously told attendees to avoid casual attire.

"We're aiming for a fusion of Inspirational and Aspirational, which in actual words means formal is totally cool if you want to go there, but casual is really not," they said in a previous statement.

The 93rd Academy Awards will air live on Sunday, April 25 starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.

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