UPDATED: The Producers Guild of America and Directors Guild of America have announced new eligibility guidelines for their top feature film awards.
The moves come after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ temporary eligibility change for the Oscars. The PGA announced Tuesday that the organization will be permitting films initially made available on a commercial streaming or VOD service to qualify for the Darryl F. Zanuck award, its trophy for the previous year’s top feature film.
“Each year, the PGA has the privilege to honor outstanding achievements in our field and celebrate the inspiring producers behind them,” Producers Guild of America Presidents Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher said. “The current realities mandate that we make the necessary adjustments so that every deserving producer has the opportunity for their hard work and excellence to be recognized.”
The PGA said all other eligibility requirements will remain in full force and effect until further notice. The organization, which holds more than 8,000 members, gave last year’s statue to the producers of Universal Pictures’ World War I drama “1917” — Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne‐Ann Tenggren and Callum McDougall.
“The PGA reserves the right to amend these rules at any time, including when theaters reopen in accordance with federal, stat and local specified guidelines,” the organization added.
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The Academy announced on April 28 that its board of governors approved a temporary hold on the requirement that a film needs a seven-day theatrical run in a commercial theater in Los Angeles County to qualify for the Oscars in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, films will be allowed to be released digitally without playing in theaters. However, the streamed film must have already had a planned theatrical release to be eligible in the Oscar race. The film must also be made available on the Academy Screening Room member-only streaming site within 60 days of the film’s streaming or VOD release.
The DGA also announced its rule change on Tuesday. Mendes won the DGA’s best director award this year for “1917.”
“Every aspect of our world and our lives has been affected by this pandemic — and that includes our culture,” said DGA president Thomas Schlamme. “Numerous directors who’ve spent years bringing their visions to life are grappling with the reality that their theatrical releases are canceled. And while the unfortunate circumstances of this present situation prevent those plans from coming to fruition as their films are now being distributed on other platforms, we want to ensure that our members are being recognized by their peers for their work as intended. It is in this spirit that we are allowing a rule exception for the 2021 DGA Awards.”
The DGA said its”limited exception” for the 2021 DGA Awards will apply to theatrical motion pictures that establish they had a scheduled or planned bona fide theatrical release with a commercial motion picture theater distribution chain in Los Angeles or New York after March 13, 2020 when the theaters closed – and were instead distributed on video on demand (pay-per-view or streaming) on a national platform for at least seven consecutive days. The changes apply to the Theatrical Feature Film, First-Time Feature Film and Documentary categories.