Every year that the Golden Globes has been in operation, there has always been the requirement that for any film to be nominated, it must have screened in a Los Angeles theater for at least one week and have a screening for voters. But because so many theaters around the world have been forced to close, not every film this year has an equal chance of getting theatrical distribution.
This week, the Hollywood Foreign Press announced that they will be waiving the theatrical distribution requirement for 2021’s award ceremony. So far, it only applies to the time period of March 15- April 30, with possibility for extension.
Many films with releases scheduled for March or April have either gone straight to digital/On-Demand release or have been pushed back to future dates. This gives those who were forced by the circumstances to move to digital or streaming to retain award eligibility.
The Oscars have not yet announced any changes in their requirements for next year’s nominations. Their policy requires nominated films to be screened in an LA theater for 7 days with at least 3 screenings per day. But as streaming has become an equally as accessibly outlet for film release, there may be possibility for change in overall outlook for both awards ceremonies soon. Some critics of streaming are highly outspoken, such as Steven Spielberg, who wanted to ban Netflix films from recieving any nominations in 2019.
With quite a while before either award ceremony, we will be looking to see if there is any change ahead closer to nomination season.