It’s official. The 2021 Oscars will happen and they will take place in person.
The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), is scheduled to take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on April 25, 2021. Originally scheduled for February 28, 2021, the ceremony was postponed by two months due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, only the fourth time the date was moved in the show’s history.
A representative of the Academy told Variety that an in-person ceremony “will happen,” as opposed to a fully-remote or hybrid format as was used by the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, where the host and award presenters were present on-site, but all nominees appeared from remote location. Exactly how many people will be allowed inside the 3,400-seat theater remains unknown but organizers are looking at how the event can continue as it has always – live.
“The Academy has done a walkthrough of the Dolby recently to see all the multiple options,” an awards publicist familiar with the situation told the publication.
Pushing the awards ceremony back two months goes beyond the precaution of keeping those in attendance safe The pandemic greatly impacted the film industry from interruptions in production to nationwide closures of cinemas due to restrictions on commerce and public gatherings. These factors play a huge role in the upcoming Oscars.
In particular, the Academy Awards require films to have received a theatrical release in the previous calendar year, in at least one cinema in Los Angeles County for at least seven days with three screenings per-day, in order to be eligible. The Academy voted to temporarily allow films first released via password-protected (covering subscription services such as Amazon Video and Netflix) or transactional video on demand to be eligible for nominations at the Academy Awards, if they were originally scheduled to have a theatrical release, and are uploaded to The Academy’s online screening service within 60 days of their public release.
The previous requirement for a seven-day theatrical release will be reinstated once cinemas have sufficiently resumed operations. To allow ease of compliance with the criteria, eligible screenings will also be allowed to occur in other major cities besides L.A., specifically Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area. The Academy also decided that a week of nightly screenings at a drive-in theater within the aforementioned cities would also be eligible.
In addition, the eligibility period for feature films was extended through February 28, marking the first time since the 6th Academy Awards in which films released in two different calendar years will be eligible for award consideration in the same ceremony.
So who can we expect to be nominated in 2021?
Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is said to be be a shoe-in for some major trophy snatching. The film, produced by Denzel Washington, is an adaptation of the play of the same name and centers on a fateful recording session of “Mother of the Blues” Ma Rainey in 1927 Chicago. In addition to being a potential Best Picture contender. Viola Davis should be a lock for a Best Actress nomination while Chadwick Boseman’s may nab a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. The film marks his final big screen appearance before losing his battle with colon cancer during post-production back in August 2020.
Another strong contender from the streaming service is Mank, a biographical drama film about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and his development of the script for Citizen Kane. Directed by David Fincher, based on a script written by his father Jack Fincher, the film stars Gary Oldman in the title role which screams Best Actor nominee.
Other films getting Oscar buzz include George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky, Nomadland, The Trial Of The Chicago 7, Promising Young Woman and Ryan Murphy’s The Prom.