The Film Academy, otherwise known as the big names behind the Oscars, has announced new and additional rules as to what makes a film eligible for a nomination.
In addition to the new rules, the Academy has announced that the timeline for eligibility will return to being based on the calendar year.
There are some additional small changes. For example, soundtracks hoping to nab Best Original Song, now no more than three songs from a single film can be considered. Then, the two documentary categories, which were previously referred to as Documentary (Feature) and Documentary (Short Subject) are now being known as Documentary Feature Film and Documentary Short Film.
But the most important new change might just be, in a move that is in no doubt to support theaters reopening post-pandemic, only films that first premiere in theaters will be eligible for an award. Meaning no films that go straight to streaming services will be considered for an Oscar.
This change could mean a lot of technical misses and wins. For instance, what if Netflix releases a film in a theater that the company owns in California? Will there be a time limit for a film’s theatrical run before it can be streamed?
It’s going to be interesting to see how this new rule affects next year’s nominations, and what kind of inevitable uproar it will cause when the time comes.