Academy postpones Oscars ceremony to March 2022, making films eligible for 10 months

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Thursday that it plans to postpone next year’s Academy Awards by one month to March 27, 2022. The show was originally set to take place on February 27, 2022.

To qualify for the awards, films must be released between March and December of this year. This reduces the eligibility period for films to 10 months, as opposed to the usual 12 months to qualify.

This comes after the academy had to postpone the 2021 awards ceremony from February to April due to the coronavirus pandemic. The academy had also postponed the eligibility period for this year’s award ceremony to February 28. That decision allowed films such as “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” and “Judas and the Black Messiah” to qualify for this year’s awards.

The academy’s board voted on Wednesday to approve an exception made for this year’s award season regarding the eligibility of films to also qualify for the 2022 awards. With this decision, films that were supposed to be released in theaters but could instead be watched at home due to corona-related theater closures could qualify for an Academy Award.

Under normal circumstances, the academy requires films to be shown three times a day at a commercial theater in one of the six qualifying cities for at least seven consecutive days. One of the screenings must take place between 6pm and 10pm on each of those days. The cities are Los Angeles, New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Miami and Atlanta.

This exception also includes drive-in theaters, where the film must be shown at least once a day for seven consecutive days.

The film does not have to be available on the streaming site for members of the Academy Screening Room by the usual rules. But it must meet all other eligibility requirements in the academy rulebook.

The nominees for next year’s show will be announced on February 8, 2022.

At this year’s Oscars, the top prize went to ‘Nomadland’. The director, Chloe Zhao and lead actress, Frances McDormand, also took home trophies. But ratings for the show, which aired on ABC, plummeted. By postponing the show until the end of March, the ceremony avoids other draws from the general public, such as the Winter Olympics and the National Football League Super Bowl, both of which take place in early to mid-February 2022.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics holds the U.S. broadcasting rights to all summer and winter games through 2032.

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