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The 48th Annie Awards has been scheduled for Friday, April 16, 2021, either in person or virtually, shifting along with other awards shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to ASIFA-Hollywood officials. The organization will make a final decision on a live or virtual ceremony sometime in October.

“What this epidemic has taught us is to be flexible in the ways we deliver our message and share our experiences,” said Sue Shakespeare, ASIFA-Hollywood vice president. “Regardless of how the Annies ceremony is presented this year, it will honor all of the talent in our animation community with the utmost respect and inclusion.”

To accommodate the new ceremony date, other key dates have shifted as well. Call for entries will open on Jan. 4. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. PT on Monday, Feb. 1. Nominations will be announced on Wednesday, March 3, and online balloting will begin on Monday, March 29, ending Friday, April 9.

ASIFA-Hollywood has also updated its rules and categories, and has eliminated the virtual reality category this year. VR content needs to be submitted in either the short subject or special production categories and submissions will require a flat version of the production for consideration. Other changes and clarifications have been made to the best picture, best picture – independent and voice acting categories, among others.

A complete list of changes to the rules and categories is available on the Annies website.

All animated productions looking to enter need to have been released in the U.S. between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. Exceptions are commercials, short subjects, special projects and student films, which can qualify with or without U.S. releases.