June 15 (UPI) -- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday that the 93rd annual Academy Awards would move from Feb. 28 to April 25. The Academy cited the global COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for the delay.
The Academy also extended the eligibility period for 2020 films. Films released up until Feb. 28, may qualify for the 93rd Oscars, due to delays caused by the pandemic. The submission deadline for those films to be considered is Jan. 15.
Previously, the Academy modified the rules for eligibility to accommodate COVID-19. Since many movies are forgoing a theatrical release this year, the Academy allowed films that premiere on streaming services and video-on-demand to qualify for Oscar nominations, so long as they were originally scheduled for theatrical release.
Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson issued a joint statement.
"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," they said.
The Oscars ceremony will air live on ABC from the Dolby Theater. The past two years have seen host-less Oscars. No announcement about a 2021 host has been made yet.
They have also delayed the opening of the Academy Museum from Dec. 20 to April 30. The Scientific and Technical Awards and Governors Awards are also delayed to a new date to be announced.