The SAG Awards will follow the Academy of Motion Pictures temporary eligibility rule for the 2021 edition to accept films that were originally intended for theatrical release but had to result to streaming platforms due to the COVID-19 chaos.
In an email sent to film studios on May 14, 2020 confirmed the new change in rule, “We are still revising our film release criteria but will be following the Academy’s rule change to allow titles with a planned theatrical release to be eligible if streamed or released on VOD first,” the email reads. “Full language will be announced in June along with the rest of our rules.”
It continued, “The pandemic is an evolving situation and as things change, we will evolve with it and keep you informed on any updates to our guidelines and rules through the summer and fall.”
With film theaters around the world closed, The Academy rescinded its long standing rule on April 28 that a film had to run in a commercial theater in Los Angeles County to qualify for the Oscar race.
Variety confirms, the new measures taken by SAG in connection with the Oscars now permits digital screeners to submit their films for consideration, compared to the old way where film executives had to provide DVDs of eligible films to nominating committee members. Streaming sites and digital streaming platforms would have to be approved by SAG before their film submissions.