Oscars lifts ban on streaming films

The Academy will accept streaming films for the first time ever in the 2021 awards.

The Academy has announced that this year’s Oscars will consider streaming-only films for the first time.

The measures have been taken thanks to social distancing measures causing many film releases to be delayed.

In previous years, The Academy required all its films to be screened in cinemas for at least a limited run in order to be eligible. This is why Netflix originals like Roma and The Irishman had brief spells in theatres.

Now, the next Oscars will include every film released, even if they only become available to stream.

Film distributors are currently beginning streaming-only releases of films that were initially meant to come out in cinemas, such as Trolls World Tour, and have achieved some success.

Despite the rules changing, there are some caveats. Eligible films have to be behind some kind of pay wall, whether that’s a subscription or rental fee, meaning a YouTube video can’t win Best Picture, for example.

Films such as The Invisible Man and others would have been eligible regardless of this measure, as they experienced theatrical releases just before social distancing rules were passed down.

The Academy has said that the ban will be put back into effect once cinemas begin to open again, meaning that it probably won’t last until the next Oscars. 

If you’re looking to catch a new film on streaming, check out our guide to early release films.

Source: AV Club

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