Oscar DVD screeners to end, Academy updates its rules

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The 2021 Oscars will be the last to use Oscar screener DVDs, and the number of awards given out is set to reduce by one too.

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has agreed a bunch of changes for next year’s Oscars, taking into account the fact that cinemas have been shut and some films will now be premiering on video on demand instead of the big screen.

As such, a few changes, with no plans at all for the show to be cancelled as things stand.

Firstly, there’s going to be a merger of categories. The Sound Mixing and Sound Editing Oscars will now be just one, as requested by the sound branch of the Academy.

Furthermore, the eligibility requirements for all Oscars are being tuned to account for films debuting away from cinemas. The following criteria will still apply:

  1. The film must be made available on the secure Academy Screening Room member-only streaming site within 60 days of the film’s streaming or VOD release;
  2. The film must meet all other eligibility requirements.

And then, long predicted and desired by the industry as it fights against piracy, this is the year that the Oscar screener DVD is finally retired. After the 2021 awards, physical screener discs are being phased out. Each year these screeners find a way to leak onto torrent sites, and it’s just surprising it’s taken so long for the clampdown on piracy to phase them out.

More changes may yet be made to the event itself depending how world events pan out. For now, the next Oscars are set for Sunday February 28th 2021.

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