2021 Oscars undergoes major changes with on-demand movies now eligible for nomination

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Next year’s Oscars will be very different than what we’re used to. The 93rd Academy Awards will not only allow digital-only movies to be eligible for nomination for the first time, two categories are going to be streamlined into one.

As per The Hollywood Reporter, a recent meeting of the Academy board reached the conclusion that a movie doesn’t need to show for at least a week in a Los Angeles theater (an impossibly archaic hoop that the likes of The Irishman recently jumped through) before being considered for an Oscar nomination – but there’s a caveat.

Any movie that still wants to draw the gaze of the Academy needs to at least have been planning to release in cinemas. Of course, with the world being as it is, many will be considering a cinema run but will be unable to do so, meaning the likes of Trolls: World Tour, for example, would still be eligible despite not appearing in theatres.

That could also lead to small-to-medium budget movies opting to take a chance on going all-in on digital streaming, a move that would mark a huge change in how we watch movies.

On the category side of things, meanwhile, best sound editing and best sound mixing (won this year by Ford vs. Ferrari and 1917 respectively) will be brought together into one “best sound” category.

The movie industry in 2021 (and beyond) may look unrecognisable, and it’s the Academy, remarkably, that are currently leading the way.

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Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.