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Movies that debuted on a streaming service without a theatrical run will now be eligible for the Oscars. The Academy announced the change on Tuesday for the 93rd Academy Awards.
The film academy also said it will condense the two sound categories into one and prohibit DVD screeners for 2022's 94th Oscars in an effort to become more carbon neutral.
The question of eligibility has been a major question since stay-at-home orders and social distancing led to both the cancellation of major film festivals and the closure of movie theaters.
Previously, a film would have to have a minimum seven-day theatrical run in a Los Angeles County commercial theater in order to be eligible for an Oscar. Now, films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are made available on a home video-on-demand service may qualify for best picture and other categories.
“The Academy firmly believes there is no greater way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a theater. Our commitment to that is unchanged and unwavering. Nonetheless, the historically tragic COVID-19 pandemic necessitates this temporary exception to our awards eligibility rules," Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a press release obtained by Fox News.
"The Academy supports our members and colleagues during this time of uncertainty. We recognize the importance of their work being seen and also celebrated, especially now, when audiences appreciate movies more than ever."
The 93rd Academy Awards are scheduled to be held in Los Angeles on Feb. 28, 2021.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.