Streaming-only films eligible for Oscar during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 10:12 AM, Apr 29, 2020

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it would allow streaming-only films to enter the running for an Oscar in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the announcement, to be considered for an Oscar, films previously had to be shown in theaters within Los Angeles County at least three times a day for seven-straight days.

But with the virus forcing theaters to be shut down, the Academy's Board of Governors had to make a temporary change.

"The Academy firmly believes there is no greater way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a theater," said Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson in a joint statement. "Our commitment to that is unchanged and unwavering. Nonetheless, the historically tragic COVID-19 pandemic necessitates this temporary exception to our awards eligibility rules."

Once theaters reopen, officials said, the new rule will no longer apply.