The Academy pushed back the Oscars 2021 telecast to April 25, eight weeks back from the old date, February 28. The date change and extended eligibility period give a swath of films more time to finish production and reach audiences without sacrificing their chances for Oscar contention.
The precedents for changing the Oscar date include a delay in 1938 (a flood in Los Angeles), 1968 (the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), and 1981 (the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan), but the film industry has never seen anything like the 2020 pandemic. Even during the 1918 Spanish Flu, Hollywood production continued and most theaters remained open.
Most Oscar seasons are comprised of movies that open after Labor Day weekend, but fall film festivals are also under duress: Telluride is canceled, and Venice, Toronto and New York are taking slimmer forms this year. AFI FEST and even January’s Sundance may play a role in the 2021 Oscar race. Big titles like David Fincher’s biopic “Mank,” starring Oscar-winner Gary Oldman, may thrive without a fall festival launch (Netflix has not committed to sending any films to fall festivals), but smaller, less pedigreed titles, which need discovery from media and audiences, could suffer from the lack of festival attention.
The Academy has also changed its Oscar submission deadlines and awards calendar, and other awards groups are following suit. See the constantly updating calendar below.
Thursday, September 2, 2020
The Venice International Film Festival opens
Friday, September 10, 2020
Toronto International Film Festival opens
Thursday, September 17, 2020
New York Film Festival opens
Friday, September 25, 2020
Final deadline for Critics Choice documentary submissions
British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) final entry deadline
Monday, September 28
Writers Guild submissions open in all categories
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Critics Choice Documentary Awards deliberations begin.
Friday, October 2, 2020
BIFA late feature entry deadline
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
London International Film Festival opens
Thursday, October 8, 2020
Hamptons International Film Festival opens
Thursday, October 15, 2020
AFI FEST opens
Monday, October 19, 2020
BIFA screening deadline: all films must be available to be seen by voters.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Gotham Award nominations announced (IFP)
Friday, October 23, 2020
Critics Choice documentary awards nominations deliberations conclude.
Monday, October 26, 2020
Critics Choice documentary awards nominations announced.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
International Documentary Association (IDA) Awards shortlists announced
Monday, November 2, 2020
American Cinema Editors ACE Eddie awards submissions open
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Final ballots to CCA members
Monday, November 30, 2020
30th Gotham Awards (IFP)
Submission website for 2021 Golden Globe Motion Picture and Television entries opens
Friday, December 11, 2020
Deadline for submissions: Series, TV-Radio/Audio-New Media Scripts and Paul Selvin Award
Saturday, December 12, 2020
33rd European Film Awards announced
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Deadline for submission of Golden Globe Motion Picture and Television entry forms
Monday, January 4, 2021
Online voting begins for Art Directors Guild television and feature film nominations
Preliminary online voting for WGA series begins
Monday, January 11, 2021
SAG nominations balloting opens
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Deadline for Golden Globe Television nomination ballots to be mailed to all HFPA members by Ernst & Young
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Deadline for receipt of Golden Globe Television nomination ballots by Ernst & Young, at 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday January 20, 2021
Deadline for WGA preliminary series voting.
Friday, January 22, 2021
Deadline for WGA submission screenplays.
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Deadline for Golden Globe Motion Picture nomination ballots to be mailed to all HFPA members by Ernst & Young
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Final Golden Globes screening date for Motion Pictures
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Sundance Film Festival opens
Friday, January 29, 2021
Preliminary WGA screenplay online voting begins.
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Final date for Golden Globes Motion Picture press conferences
Monday, February 1, 2021
SAG nominations balloting closes at 5 P.M. PT
Online voting for Art Directors Guild nominations close
Preliminary Oscar voting begins
Critics Choice nomination ballots go to members
Online Voting for Art Directors Guild (ADG) television and feature film nominations begins
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Deadline for receipt of Golden Globe Motion Picture nomination ballots by Ernst & Young, at 12:00 p.m. (noon)
WGA television, new media, news, radio/audio and promo writing nominations announced.
Thursday, February 4, 2021
SAG Awards nominations announced
Friday, February 5, 2021
Preliminary Oscar voting ends
Critics Choice nomination ballots due
Sunday, February 7, 2021
Critics Choice Awards nominations announced.
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Oscar Shortlists Announcement
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Final SAG Awards voting opens
Announcement of nominations for the 78th Annual Golden Globe® Awards, at 5:00 a.m. PT
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Cinema Audio Society nomination ballot voting begins online
PGA Documentary Motion Pictures nominees announced
Friday, February 12, 2021
Deadline for preliminary WGA screenplay online voting.
Final Golden Globes ballots mailed to all HFPA members by Ernst & Young
ACE Eddie Awards submissions close.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
WGA screenplay nominations announced.
Friday February 19, 2021
Final WGA screenplay voting begins.
ACE Eddie Awards nominations ballots sent.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Cinema Audio Society nomination ballot voting ends
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala
Nomination polls open for Producers Guild Awards Theatrical Motion Pictures and Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Submission deadline for the Oscars
Deadline for receipt of final Golden Globes ballots by Ernst & Young, at 5:00 p.m. PT
Presentation of the 78th Annual Golden Globe® Awards
Monday, March 1, 2021
Online Voting for ADG nominations closes 5:00 p.m. PT
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
ADG nominations announced
Cinema Audio Society nominees announced
Thursday, March 4, 2021
Final ballots go to Critics Choice voters
Friday, March 5, 2021
Oscar nominations voting begins
Critics Choice ballots due
Deadline for final WGA screenplay online voting.
Sunday, March 7, 2021
26th Critics’ Choice Awards
Monday, March 8, 2021
ACE Eddie Awards nomination ballots due.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
SAG Awards voting ends noon PT
Oscar nominations voting ends 5 PM PT
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Final online ADG voting begins
ACE Eddie Awards nominations announced.
PGA Awards nominations polls close.
Friday March 12, 2021
Nominees announced for PGA Theatrical Motion Pictures and Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
Final polls open for PGA Documentary and Theatrical Motion Pictures and Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
Sunday March 14, 2021
27th SAG Awards announced
Monday, March 15, 2021
Oscar nominations announced
Friday, March 19, 2021
Final ACE Eddie Ballots sent
PGA Documentary and Theatrical and Animated Motion Pictures final polls close
Sunday, March 21, 2021
Writers Guild Awards
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
PGA Awards show
Thursday, March 25, 2021
Cinema Audio Society final voting begins online
March 26, 2021
FInal ACE Eddie Awards ballots due.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Santa Barbara International Film Festival opens
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Cinema Audio Society final voting ends
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Final ADG online voting ends 5:00 p.m. PT
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Winners announced at The 25th ADG Awards Gala
Winners announced at the 73rd Annual DGA Awards
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Winners announced at BAFTA Awards
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Oscar Nominees Luncheon
Final Oscar voting begins
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Cinema Audio Society Awards winners announced
Academy Museum gala
Sunday, April 18, 2021
ACE Eddie Awards
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Final Oscar voting ends
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Winners announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Winners announced at the 93rd Academy Awards (Oscars)
Friday, April 30, 2021
Academy Museum public opening