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‘Theatrical Will Always Be the Academy’s Priority’

David Rubin Dawn Hudson Academy Awards

David Rubin and Dawn Hudson on the 92nd Academy Awards / photograph by AMPAS

For the primary time ever, movies that premiere on a streaming service shall be eligible for Academy Awards this 12 months — however don’t count on that new rule to final.

The rule change, which was permitted by the Academy’s Board of Governors on Tuesday morning, permits movies to qualify for the 2020 Oscars in the event that they had been scheduled for theatrical releases that they then misplaced due to theater closings within the wake of the coronavirus. But in keeping with Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson, who spoke to TheWrap on Tuesday afternoon, it’s only an interim resolution to a particular drawback.

“We want to be clear that the theatrical experience is the Academy’s priority and always will be,” Hudson mentioned. “But we understand that at this time it’s just not possible for filmmakers, so we had to make exceptions.”

So there’s no likelihood it is going to be everlasting, or will signify a brand new AMPAS perspective about theatrical v. streaming?

“Absolutely not,” Hudson mentioned.

“That’s crystal clear,” Rubin added.

Under the foundations introduced on Tuesday, the exemption for streaming premieres will final till “a date to be determined by the Academy, and when theaters reopen in accordance with federal, state and local specified guidelines and criteria.”

Until then, Hudson and Rubin say they’re merely ready for extra data earlier than they’ll know the best way to proceed. That additionally means, they added, that they’ll’t begin drawing up plans for what may occur with different Academy occasions, together with the Student Academy Awards (which normally takes place within the fall), the Governors Awards (October or November) or the Oscars themselves, that are presently scheduled for February 28, 2021.

“We’re in Week 7, Stage 1 of this pandemic,” Hudson mentioned. “I don’t know what’s happening next week, let alone next fall.”

Rubin added, “We do know that we have to be fluid and nimble as the weeks unfold. And we have to keep our eyes on the prize, which is doing what’s best for our members and the filmmaking community. We’ll have to adjust as events unfold.”

The pandemic disaster has bolstered the general worth of movie to audiences dealing with unexpected occasions. “What we’re stuck by, and what the conversation has been for us, is how important movies are during this time of crisis,” Hudson mentioned. “They are connecting us — and speaking for myself, I’m appreciating the time when can I go back to theaters.”

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