Los Angeles, United States:
The 93rd Oscars was postponed eight weeks to April 25 after the coronavirus pandemic closed cinemas and ravaged Hollywood's release calendar, the academy announced on Monday.
Since many studio blockbusters and indie art films are forced to postpone their release dates until the cinemas reopen, the deadline for Oscar-ready films has also been extended from December 31, 2020 to February 28, 2021.
"We hope to extend the eligibility period and our award date to give filmmakers the flexibility they need to finish and release their films without being punished for anything beyond anyone's control," said Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson in a statement.
The film industry's biggest night was originally scheduled for February 28, 2021.
No decision has yet been made as to whether it is a live ceremony with stars or a "virtual" presentation.
Most U.S. cinemas remain closed and fears of a second wave of COVID-19 cases are increasing.
The academy – regarded as the front-runner of the Hollywood film industry – had already relaxed some admission rules in April so that films that skip the big screen and appear on streaming platforms can fight for Oscars this year.
The move on Monday was sparked by concerns that an area consisting only of films released in 2020 would not be as broad or competitive as in previous years.
The Academy Awards have been postponed – after the Los Angeles flood in 1938, the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 and the shooting of President Ronald Reagan in 1981 – but never by more than a week.
The Academy's long late Museum of Motion Pictures, expected to open in Los Angeles in December, will now open on April 30, 2021.
"For over a century, films have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us in the darkest of times. They certainly have this year," said Monday's statement.
It added: "These upcoming Oscars and the opening of our new museum will mark a historic moment and bring film fans around the world together to unite through the cinema."
The Oscars are the grand finale of a film award season that begins with the Golden Globes in early January.
Other film award shows are generally expected to announce similar delays after the academy's move.
The Primetime Emmys ceremony on television is scheduled to take place in September. Discussions about the format are ongoing.
The television academy said Monday that its Creative Arts Emmys – dozens of technical awards that are usually awarded the weekend before the main Emmys – will be replaced by a "virtual event".
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)