Oscars Are 'Evaluating All Aspects of an Uncertain Landscape' in Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic
The 2021 Academy Awards are currently set to take place on Feb. 28
With movie studios forced to delay major releases and film festivals starting to get canceled, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts is working to come up with a solution to deal with the coronavirus’ affect on the Oscars.
“The Academy is focused on helping our staff, our members, and the industry safely navigate through this global health and economic crisis,” an Academy spokesperson said in a statement, according to Variety. “We are in the process of evaluating all aspects of this uncertain landscape and what changes may need to be made. We are committed to being nimble and forward-thinking as we discuss what is best for the future of the industry and will make further announcements in the coming days.”
This marks the second time the Academy’s made an announcement regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, they “decided to postpone all screenings, events, tours, public programs and public access to our library and archive, effective immediately, and through the month of March,” according to Variety.
The 2021 ceremony is still scheduled to take place on Feb. 28 as of now.
Questions surrounding how next year’s Oscars will be affected come as some studios opt for digital premieres over theatrical debuts.
As of now, Academy rules mandate a film’s first exposure to be in theaters to make it eligible for awards, meaning streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon have been opening in limited theater runs before they’re made available online. The Oscar-nominated Netflix films Marriage Story and The Irishman recently followed this model.
So far, the 2020 Cannes Film Festival was the first major movie festival postponed by the pandemic gripping the world. It was scheduled to take place from May 12 to 23. This year’s Best Picture winner Parasite world premiered at Cannes last May.
Other film festivals — like Venice, Toronto and Telluride — take place in late summer and early fall, and have yet to make decisions based on the pandemic yet.
As of Friday mid-afternoon, there were over 260,000 reported cases worldwide, with over 10,000 deaths, according to John Hopkins.
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