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Oscars 2021: Date, Venue, Ceremony, and Everything We Know So Far

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It was only seven months ago that Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite swept the 2020 Oscars, but that historic awards ceremony—with its packed crowds and public displays of affection—now seems like a relic from a bygone age. What will the first Academy Awards of the post-pandemic era look like, as the film industry struggles to get back on its feet? We round up all the details we know so far.

When will the 2021 Oscars take place?

Originally scheduled for February 28, 2021, the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony has since been postponed to April 25, 2021. Also pushing back its opening date, from December 14, 2020, to April 30, 2021, is the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the long-awaited Los Angeles institution dedicated to film.

The move will result in a temporary change to the Oscars eligibility period, meaning the standard December 31 deadline will be extended to February 28. Films released up to that point will qualify for awards recognition. “For more than a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times,” said Academy president David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson in a statement. “They certainly have this year. Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control.”

When will the 2021 Oscar nominations be announced?

Oscar nominations are due to be announced on March 15 2021. According to the Academy’s new calendar, preliminary voting will take place from February 1 to 5. The Oscars shortlist will then be announced on February 9 and nominations voting will take place from March 5 to 10. After the nominations are announced, guests will be set to gather for the annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon on April 15, with the final voting happening from April 15 to 20.

Who is expected to be nominated for an Oscar in 2021?

While the extended eligibility period means that more films—including blockbusters, which were originally slated for the spring and summer of 2020 and later postponed to early 2021—may have a better chance of taking home a statuette, much depends on the ongoing pandemic and whether or not more cinemas are able to reopen soon in the US and worldwide.

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet remains one of the few major releases to have hit theatres in recent months. Despite mixed responses from critics and audiences, the time-bending thriller is nearing the $150m mark internationally. If it goes on to become the highest-grossing film of the year, giving a much-needed boost to struggling cinemas, that could certainly benefit its Oscar campaign.

But box office isn’t everything. In April 2020, the Academy announced that it would allow films to skip a theatrical release this year and still be eligible. As a result, Netflix releases such as Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods would be able to compete. The streaming giant’s other contenders could include David Fincher’s Mank, Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Ron Howard’s Hillbilly Elegy, all of which are expected to drop on the platform in the next few months.

Also in contention, provided their release dates aren’t pushed back beyond the deadline, are Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune.

Where will the 2021 Oscars take place?

The 2021 Oscars ceremony is still scheduled to take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

What will the 2021 Oscars ceremony look like?

Due to be broadcast live on the ABC TV network in the US, as well as in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide, the 2021 Oscars ceremony could be a more pared-back affair than usual, reflecting on the tumultuous nature of the past few months, while also trying to boost the industry’s morale.

“We find ourselves in uncharted territory this year and will continue to work with our partners at the Academy to ensure next year’s show is a safe and celebratory event,” said Karey Burke, the president of ABC Entertainment, in a statement. If social-distancing regulations remain in place come April, a virtual event (akin to the upcoming 2020 Emmy Awards) could be on the cards. Even if they aren’t, the Academy could still err on the side of caution by forgoing live performances.

What will the red carpet look like at the 2021 Oscars?

When the pandemic first hit and premieres, galas and film festivals were promptly canceled, many declared that it was the end of the red carpet as we know it. However, recent red carpets at the MTV Video Music Awards and the Venice Film Festival have proved otherwise, meaning the Oscars fashion parade could go ahead as usual—just with more face masks and space between attendees.

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