This week, studios received word from the Screen Actors’ Guild organization claiming that the 2021 SAG Awards will be including 2020 films that were not shown in theaters due to coronavirus. This includes films such as Capone, The Secret Garden, and Candyman, among many others, all of whom were forced to cancel their theatrical releases and plan to go straight to digital.
This decision was made after the addendum to the Academy’s criteria for eligibility was announced on April 28 to include films whose theatrical releases were cancelled or pushed back. “We are still revising our film release criteria but will be following the Academy’s rule change to allow titles with a planned theatrical release to be eligible if streamed or released on VOD first,” said the email sent to studios by the . “Full language will be announced in June along with the rest of our rules. Previous Academy rules dictated that a film must have at least a seven day run in a commercial theatre in Los Angeles County to be considered for an Oscar.”
The SAG committee has also decided to permit submitted films to viewed by members of the nomination committee (to be determined this July) on digital platforms, rather than demanding studios to release DVD copies, as long as the streaming platform is one approved by the SAG. Said the memo from the SAG, “The pandemic is an evolving situation and as things change we will evolve with it and keep you informed on any updates to our guidelines and rules through the summer and fall.”