The Hollywood Academy modified the rules for the Oscar Awards for the coronavirus crisis on Tuesday and approved an exception that will allow films that have not been shown in theaters to be candidates.

“Until further notice, and only for the 93rd Awards, films that had a theatrical release planned but were previously available on a digital broadcast service -streaming- may be eligible for the best film categories, the general and specialty sections, “the Academy reported in a statement sent to Efe.

This is the first time that Oscar organizers have agreed to this measure, which will cease to apply once federal, state and local authorities allow the reopening of cinemas.

“The Academy firmly believes that there is no better way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a cinema. Our commitment to that has not changed and is unshakable. However, the historic and tragic COVID-19 pandemic needs to apply this exception. temporary to our rules, “said the institution’s president, David Rubin.

The rule change adds two points agreed at a meeting of the Academy Board of Governors, held Tuesday in Los Angeles, California.

On the one hand, the tape must be available on a private digital broadcast service for all members of the Academy for 60 days from its Internet release.

The coronavirus crisis has led many to return to this form of entertainment considered almost obsolete.

In addition, you will have to meet all other eligibility criteria.

Until now, regulations have required that Oscar-nominated films be screened in Los Angeles County theaters for at least seven consecutive days, something Netflix, for example, had to do in order for “Rome” and “Marriage Story.” entered into competition.

Due to uncertainty about the coronavirus and because California authorities are applying some of the most severe containment measures in the entire United States, the Academy removed that exclusive requirement.

“The number of qualified cinemas will be expanded beyond Los Angeles County to include additional metropolitan areas,” the statement confirmed.

Those areas will be New York City, San Francisco Bay, Chicago, Miami, and Atlanta.

Likewise, the exceptions approved will apply to all premieres scheduled at festivals that have not been physically possible, such as the one in Cannes, which is still studying alternative formats.

Finally, at the meeting, the deletion of a category was approved by combining the award for sound editing with that of the best sound mix, which places the total of statuettes delivered at 25.

Also, for the first time, all members of the Academy will be invited to participate in the preliminary round of voting for international feature films, provided they meet a minimum viewing requirement to vote.