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Oscars delayed until April as coronavirus disrupts Hollywood

The Baftas, UK's most prestigious film prizes, were also delayed by two months for the same reason, and is now scheduled to take place on 11 April.

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Los Angeles: The next Oscars ceremony will be in April, two months later than originally planned, to give films delayed by the coronavirus pandemic a better shot at the industry’s most prestigious awards.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Walt Disney Co.’s ABC will air the 93rd Academy Awards on April 25. Films that premiere before Feb. 28 will now be eligible to compete. Normally, the ceremony is held in February and only movies that came out during the previous calendar year are considered.

“Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control,” said Academy President David Rubin and Academy Chief Executive Officer Dawn Hudson.

The Baftas, Britain’s most prestigious film prizes, were also delayed two months for the same reason, and will take place on April 11. The ceremony usually offers clues about which movies will go on to win Oscars. Snatching a top award provides a box-office boost, and helps winning studios attract the industry’s top talent.

The Academy has made a number of other changes to the 2021 Oscars as a result of the coronavirus. Ordinarily, films had to debut in a Los Angeles theater and show for seven consecutive days, playing at least three times a day. For the next contest, movies that premiered on streaming platforms can compete, as can those that debuted in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and the San Francisco area.

The institution is also taking steps to ensure there’s more diversity among nominees and winners. It said on Friday it will create a task force to “develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility” by the end of July, and it will make unconscious-bias training available for members.- Bloomberg

Also read: Get ready for Hollywood movie scenes where nobody’s touching


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