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Drive-in screenings will now count towards Oscars eligibility

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is continuing to make amends to its eligibility rules amid the coronavirus pandemic and will now allow drive-in films to qualify for the 2021 Oscars.

The Academy’s Board of Governors has now voted for a number of different and unique exceptional revisions to its longstanding traditional rules. The move comes as the coronavirus health crisis continues to wreak havoc within the film industry and the social distancing measures that have forced cinemas and theatres around the globe to close.

In normal circumstances, if a feature film wants to qualify to be in the running for the Oscars then it must complete a seven-day run in a Los Angeles County cinema. As part of that run, the film must show three screenings a day.

Now though, as cinemas continue to feel the majorly detrimental effects of the pandemic, the Board of Governors has agreed to allow drive-in film screenings as part of its eligibility process as long as they are screen in a major city. Drive-in cinemas have emerged as a more realistic and safe place for film fans during this unprecedented time.

As part of a statement released by The Academy, a two-part addendum was added to the rule changes. The first reads: “Films which are intended for theatrical release, but are initially made available through commercial streaming, VOD service or other broadcast may qualify by making the film available on the secure Academy Screening Room member site within 60 days of the film’s streaming/VOD release or broadcast.”

And the second states: “Films may qualify with a traditional theatrical release, completing a seven-day run in one of six qualifying cities (Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco/Bay Area, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta), screening at least three times daily, with at least one screening between 6pm and 10pm daily.”

The Oscars are currently scheduled to take place on April 25, 2021.

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