The 2021 Oscars will go on — just not on Feb. 28.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Monday that the 93rd Academy Awards telecast has been postponed by two months to April 25, 2021. Variety was the first to report in mid-May that the Academy was considering delaying the big night in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“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.”
The Academy also announced that the Governors Awards gala, which takes place in the fall, has been postponed to a later, unspecified date. The December opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures was pushed to April to coincide with the Oscars.
The organization recently extended release date eligibility rules. A feature film must now have a qualifying release date between Jan. 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021. The submission deadline for specialty categories (animated feature film, documentary feature, documentary short subject, international feature film, animated short film and live action short film) is Dec. 1, 2020. The submission deadline for general entry categories, including best picture, original score and original song, is now Jan. 15, 2021.
The format of the Oscar ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, telecast on ABC, has not 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.
The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards presentation, which was scheduled for June 20, 2020, has been postponed to a later date still to be determined.
In a domino effect, BAFTA moved the dates of its 2021 Film Awards on Monday following the Academy announcement. They will be held on April 11 — two weeks before the Oscars.
Lorenzo Soria, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, told Variety that a final decision on the date for the Golden Globes has not yet been made.
“The HFPA and our partners at NBC and Dick Clark Productions are monitoring the situation closely. We will make the final determination regarding the timing of the 2021 Golden Globe ceremony and telecast in consultation with public health officials and proper authorities and as more information becomes available. We are examining every option in order to find a solution that will serve the interests of the film and television creative community and the industry during this time,” Soria said.
This is the fourth time the Oscars have been postponed. They were first delayed in 1938 after massive flooding in Los Angeles. In 1968, they were put on hold after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and again in 1981 following an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.
On Friday, the Academy announced it was forming a task force with the Producers Guild of America “to develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility by July 31, 2020.”
Academy key dates for the 2020/2021 Oscar season are as follows:
Preliminary voting begins: Feb 1, 2021
Preliminary voting ends: Feb. 5, 2021
Oscars shortlists announcement: Feb. 9, 2021
Nominations voting begins: Mar. 5, 2021
Nominations voting ends: Mar. 10, 2021
Oscar nominations announcement: Mar. 15, 2021
Oscars nominees luncheon: April 15, 2021
Final voting begins: April 15, 2021
Museum gala: April 17, 2021
Final voting ends: April 20, 2021
Oscars: April 25, 2021
Museum public opening: April 30, 2021