The Producers Guild of America Changes Award Rules

Following other award groups such as the Golden Globes and the Oscars, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) is adopting revised eligibility rules for the 2021 PGA Awards, set to take place on January 23. In response to the nationwide closing of movie theatres due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PGA is temporarily adjusting theatrical distribution requirements in the Darryl F. Zanuck Award category for the 2020-2021 season.

In order to accommodate films that are forced to have initial non-theatrical public exhibition or distribution, the PGA will permit films that are first released via commercial streaming or VOD platforms to qualify for awards eligibility. “The current realities mandate that we make the necessary adjustments,” stated PGA presidents Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher, “so that every deserving producer has the opportunity for their hard work and excellence to be recognized.”

All other eligibility requirements will remain in effect, but the PGA reserves the right to amend these rules at any time, including when theaters reopen in accordance with federal, state and local specified guidelines.

Hollywood is waiting to hear what the next changes are in store for just how the Golden Globes and Oscars will proceed with their shows. Will they keep the dates as planned? When I spoke to Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and president David Rubin, they were keeping their options open as to whether they might move the date for the planned February 28 Oscar show on ABC.

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Last week, the Academy posted changes for the documentary rules for the upcoming Oscars. “Until further notice and for the 93rd Awards year only,” documentary features will qualify for Oscar contention without having completed the usual mandate of “both a seven-day theatrical release in Los Angeles County and a seven-day theatrical release in the City of New York during the eligibility period.”

The Screen Actors Guild is also expected to announce revised guidelines for the 27th annual SAG Awards (January 24, 2021) as well, following its annual spring meeting on April 7 for some 120 film executives and awards consultants to make plans for the coming season.

SAG Awards executive producer Kathy Connell told Variety that SAG is considering “allowing films to stream before a qualifying run. In light of everything going on in the world right now, we are considering a number of options — among them allowing films to stream before a qualifying run. At this time everything is in discussion and nothing is final.”

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