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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has extended its eligibility period for the 2021 Film Awards.

On Monday, BAFTA’s film committee decided that due to the continuing impact of COVID-19, U.K. cinema closures and the limited availability of cinema screens, entered titles scheduled to release before the eligibility cut-off of April 9 will be automatically eligible if they release within the 2021 calendar year without the need for an appeal.

A theatrical release is not required for the 2021 awards.

“All of us at BAFTA are aware of the incredibly difficult year everyone across the industry has had. We have made multiple changes to our eligibility criteria at various stages of the pandemic in recognition of these extraordinary circumstances,” said Marc Samuelson, chair of the BAFTA film committee.

“Given the current situation in the U.K. with cinemas remaining closed, we felt extending the eligibility period was the right thing to do. The new extended eligibility period will give distributors the opportunity to release their qualifying films in cinemas later this year once restrictions have lifted. Our intention is to be as flexible and supportive as we can during these difficult times as well as allow audiences to see as many of these films as possible in a theatrical setting.”

The first round of voting for the BAFTA Film Awards opened Jan. 12 and closes Jan. 26. Long lists are announced Feb. 4. Voting for the second round begins Feb. 19 and closes March 1. Nominations are announced March 9. Round three voting opens March 25 and closes April 7.

This year’s awards are scheduled for April 11.