Films released only on digital platforms will be eligible for the Oscars for the first time, next year, but exceptionally. According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, through a statement, the decision relates to the impact that the restrictive measures adopted in the context of the pandemic had in theaters this year.
It should be noted that cinemas are closed throughout the United States, as well as in other affected countries, which invalidated one of the eligibility rules for films that want to compete for Oscars.
The films, however, have to meet two criteria: “The film must be made available to members of the Academy within 60 days prior to the premiere”; “The film must meet all other eligibility criteria”.
The Board of Governors also decided that the sound mix and sound editing will be diluted in one sound category, to highlight “teamwork”.
The issue of films with the seal of streaming services at the Oscars has already created some stir between the Academy and the platforms, specifically because of the obligation to premiere the film in the theater. Some of the most prominent members, such as Steven Spielberg, advocate a separation between films released for television and films released in the cinema, at a time when Netflix, for example, is gaining ground in the industry.