With the 93rd Annual Academy Awards still on set to premiere next February, the Academy is making some updates in light of the coronavirus. For the next Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made a few changes to the Oscars during a zoom meeting on Tuesday, including the eligibility for nominating films and combining some smaller awards into one.
During this season, films initially scheduled for theatrical release will be available for Academy members through their members’ only streaming service within 60 days of release on a VOD service. This means that films can qualify without being screened in areas like Los Angeles or New York before the end of the year. Some of the governors have stated that this might be a one time adjustment considering the situation with COVID-19, but with more films being accepted for streaming, this might be more of a permanent change than expected.
Other major changes to the Oscars will include alterations to the Best Original Score and Sound Oscars. Both Sound Mixing and Editing will be combined into one award as opposed to being separate in previous years, bringing the categories from 24 to 23. As for musical score, to be eligible at least 60% of the film’s music must be original.
The last change is that all Academy members will be able to vote to determine the Best International Feature through their Academy Screening Room streaming service. It’ll be a matter of time before these changes will go into full effect- especially given the pandemic- but it should help make things easier for Academy voters, especially if some of the changes become permanent.