The next Oscar ceremony has been postponed for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic and is now scheduled for April 25 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the prestigious awards.
The 93rd edition of the Oscars was originally scheduled to take place on February 28, but the health crisis caused cinemas to close and disrupted the schedule for Hollywood productions.
The Academy therefore also extended on Monday the release period for films eligible for the Oscars, which goes from December 31, 2020 to February 28, 2021. It thus hopes "to give filmmakers the flexibility necessary to finish and release their films without being penalized", explain its officials in a statement.
"We are in unfamiliar territory this year"
The Academy had already recently relaxed its rules to allow, exceptionally, works released directly on video on demand platforms to compete. Most American movie theaters remain closed and many filming is stopped in Los Angeles or elsewhere in the world, against the backdrop of the fear of a resurgence of the Covid-19 epidemic. The deadline granted by the Academy may allow certain productions to be ready in time to compete next year.
It also nurtures the hope that the Academy Awards will be able to take place in front of its usual star bed rather than transforming into a less glamorous "virtual" award ceremony. "We are in unfamiliar territory this year and we will continue to work with our Academy partners to ensure that next year's show is safe," said Karey Burke, President of ABC who is broadcasting this flagship evening from Hollywood.
The postponement announced Monday responds in particular to the concerns of many cinema professionals who believe that the films released in 2020 would be too few to allow a solid selection.
The ceremony already shifted in the past
The Oscars have already been postponed in the past, as in 1938 after floods in Los Angeles, after the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968 and the assassination attempt committed against President Reagan in 1981. But the ceremony never had been delayed more than a week.
Just after the announcement of the Academy, the organizers of the Bafta, awards for British cinema generally awarded shortly before the Oscars, decided to postpone their ceremony to April 11. This change "takes into account the impact of the pandemic and allows an extended period of eligibility", explain the Bafta in a press release sent to AFP.
Newsletter - The essentials of the newsEvery morning, the news seen by Le Parisien
Your email address is collected by Le Parisien to allow you to receive our news and commercial offers. Find out more
The inauguration of the Oscar museum, already postponed several times and whose construction is nearing completion in Los Angeles, has also been postponed by the Academy. The site, which was to be presented to the public on December 14, will finally open on April 30, 2021, in the wake of the 93rd edition of the Oscars.