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2021 Academy Awards to be presented in April

LOS ANGELES — Next year’s Oscar ceremony has been pushed back to April 25 amid continuing concerns over the coronavirus, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed June 15.

The 93rd Oscars — the culmination of a months-long awards season now subject to lots of uncertainty — had been scheduled to air Feb. 28. The academy has also decided to postpone the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, initially scheduled for Dec. 14, to April 30 due to the ongoing health crisis.

The academy’s president said the Oscars move was designed to allow more films to be completed in time for consideration, as global production has largely come to a halt during the pandemic. The eligibility period, submission deadlines and related awards season events have also been shifted: a feature film must now have a qualifying release date between Jan. 1, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021.

“For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring and entertaining us during the darkest of times,” Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a joint statement. “They certainly have this year. 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.

“This coming Oscars and the opening of our new museum will mark an historic moment, gathering movie fans around the world to unite through cinema.”

The president of ABC Entertainment, which will air the show, said there would be a focus on safety at the star-studded event.

“We find ourselves in uncharted territory this year and will continue to work with our partners at the academy to ensure next year’s show is a safe and celebratory event that also captures the excitement of the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures,” ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said.

Installations at the museum have been delayed, but are underway with COVID-19 safety protocols in place, according to the museum’s director, Bill Kramer.

“I speak for all of us at the museum when I say that we have been eagerly awaiting the moment when we can share the Academy Museum with movie lovers everywhere,” he said. “With the unprecedented and devastating pandemic happening around the world and our commitment first and foremost to the health and safety of our visitors and staff, we have made the difficult decision to wait a few more months to open our doors. We look forward to April 2021 when Los Angeles and the world will be able to join together as the academy celebrates the Oscars and the opening of its long-dreamed-of museum.”

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, features six floors of exhibition spaces, education and special event spaces, a conservation studio, restaurant, museum store, 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater and 288-seat Ted Mann Theater.

The new submission deadline for Oscar specialty categories — Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, International Feature Film, Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film — is Dec. 1. The submission deadline for general entry categories, including Best Picture, Original Score and Original Song, is now Jan. 15.

Preliminary voting will take place Feb. 1-5, with nominations voting from March 5-10 and nominees announced on March 15.

The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards presentation, which was scheduled for June 20 in Beverly Hills, has been postponed to a later date still to be determined. The Governors Awards, an annual celebration held at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood, will not take place this fall.

The academy said it expects to ultimately return to a calendar year roster of eligible films.

A full set of rules and new dates for all related events is available at oscars.org/rules.

Independent Wire Services