Films released only on streaming services and on demand platforms will compete against those released in theatres for the first time at the 2021 Academy Awards.
The temporary change, which will apply only for next year's Oscars and will lapse when movie theaters reopen across the U.S., was announced in a statement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday (April 28).
President David Rubin and Chief Executive Dawn Hudson said that despite the temporary exception to eligibility rules--
"The Academy firmly believes there is no greater way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a theater. Our commitment to that is unchanged and unwavering''.
Previously, a movie had to be screened in a movie theater in Los Angeles for at least seven days in order to be eligible for Oscar consideration.
But movie theaters across the United States shut their doors in mid-March, forcing the postponement of major film releases.
The Oscars are still scheduled to take place in Hollywood on February 28 next year.