New Oscar rules extend eligibility to streamed films amid pandemic

LOS ANGELES — The coronavirus crisis has left Hollywood reeling, with movie theaters shut down and film production at a standstill. In a virtual Zoom meeting held Tuesday morning, the group’s 54-member board of governors, which includes such luminaries as Steven Spielberg, Laura Dern and Whoopi Goldberg, voted on a series of rule changes in response to the global pandemic that will temporarily relax the normally strict requirements for Oscar consideration. Academy rules have long required that a film be screened at at least one theater in Los Angeles for a week in order to be eligible for Oscar consideration. “This has always been approached from a perspective of affirming the academy’s commitment to the primacy of theatrical exhibition and our belief that that’s the most satisfying way to experience a motion picture,” academy president David Rubin told the Los Angeles Times following the announcement. “This is really about looking out for our community and our filmmakers andunderstanding the extraordinary circumstances in this period of time.” Once theaters begin to reopen, in order for films to more easily meet the academy’s exhibition requirements, the number of qualifying venues will be expanded beyond L.A. County to include New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Miami and Atlanta. The academy’s announcement follows a recent move by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to relax its eligibility requirements for next year’s Golden Globe Awards to accommodate the disruption of theatrical exhibition. The Screen Actors Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television are expected to make similar rule changes for their respective awards. Though the 93rd Academy Awards, scheduled for Feb. 28, 2021, are still ten months away, some have raised concerns that a resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall and winter could force the cancellation of such large-scale public events. Starting with the 92nd Academy Awards, held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Feb. 9, let’s take a look at the stars who walked down the red carpet withtheir best fashion foot forward. Celebrating the best in cinema and television, the awards were held in Santa Monica, California on Jan. 12.  Since the coronavirus crisis erupted earlier this year, the academy’s leadership has been in discussions with stakeholders across the film industry to help forge a way forward. Earlier this month, the organization pledged million to help support film employees and their families who are experiencing financial hardship as well as institutions boosting diverse filmmakers.