The 2021 Oscars movie awards ceremony has been postponed for the fourth time in history due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said.
The Academy has been grappling with how to handle the pandemic’s near shutdownProduction shutdowns meant that many movies may not be released before the usual year-end deadlineThe Oscars have been postponed before, but never this far in advance
The ceremony for the film industry’s highest honours will take place on April 25, 2021, the organisers said. It was originally scheduled eight weeks earlier, on February 28.
The Academy also extended the deadline by which movies must be released in order to be eligible for an Oscar nomination — to February 28, 2021 from December 31, 2020.
Academy leadership has not yet addressed the format of the show and whether it will be virtual or in-person.
« 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 penalised for something beyond anyone’s control, » Academy president David Rubin and Academy chief executive Dawn Hudson said in a statement.
The coronavirus pandemic shut down movie theatres worldwide in mid-March and brought production of films to a halt.
The production shutdown meant that many movies may not be finished or released before the usual year-end deadline. Dozens of other movie releases have been moved to 2021 due to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the 12th annual Governors Awards has also been cancelled.
The event, in which honorary Oscars are bestowed to previously announced recipients, is generally held in Los Angeles during the second week of November.
The untelevised event is a major gathering for many of the year’s awards hopefuls.
The cast and crew of Parasite accept the award for best picture at the Oscars last year.(AP Photo: Chris Pizzello)
Films without theatrical run eligible for awards
The film academy has been grappling with how to handle the pandemic’s near shutdown of theatrical exhibition, film production and festival businesses.
With theatres’ shuttered, release dates pushed and major festivals like Cannes cancelled, the academy in April made the unprecedented decision to allow films that did not have a theatrical run to be eligible for the awards — but only for one year.
Host Neil Patrick Harris opens the show at the 87th Academy Awards in . in 2015.(.: Mike Blake)
The Oscars have been postponed before, but never this far in advance.
The ceremony was pushed back a week because of disastrous flooding in Los Angeles in 1938.
In 1968, it was delayed two days following the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, and in 1981, it was put off for 24 hours after President Ronald Reagan was shot in Washington D.C.
The 1981 decision was made four hours before the broadcast was scheduled to begin.
Brad Pitt received the award for best supporting actor for Once Upon a Time in . earlier this year.(AP: Chris Pizzello)
Other entertainment industry awards shows are also in flux.
The 74th Tony Awards, originally set for June 7, has been postponed indefinitely. But the 72nd Emmy Awards is still holding onto September 20.
The 78th Golden Globes does not yet have a date.
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