Oscars Update Eligibility Rules to Allow Drive-In Screenings

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced another update to the eligibility requirements for this year’s Oscars, allowing films shown at drive-in theaters to qualify for best picture and general entry categories.

In addition to April’s amendment giving eligibility to films without traditional theatrical releases as long as they are uploaded to the Academy Screening Room, the new rule clarified that a theatrical run of only seven days is needed and that drive-in theaters qualify as a commercial venue.

“The Board initially made rule changes this past spring in response to theater closures, allowing films unable to screen in theaters to qualify via the Academy Screening Room,” the Academy’s Board of Governors said in a statement. “With the gradual re-opening of theaters, an addendum was added to clarify the two methods for qualification in the Best Picture and general entry categories moving forward through the end of this exceptional awards year (February 28, 2021).”

The new rules are below:

“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.


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 6 pm and 10 pm daily. Additionally, drive-in theaters in these cities will now qualify as a commercial venue, however, the screening requirement will be adjusted from three times daily to once daily. Films that have a theatrical release are not required to submit to the Academy Screening Room within 60 days—It is optional.”

The 93rd Academy Awards will take place on April 25, 2021.

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