Art and Experience: The official film rules for this year’s SAG Awards won’t be announced until next month, but an email sent to studios on Thursday morning says the organization will be following the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ temporary eligibility change for the Oscars.
“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.”
The Academy announced on April 28 that the board of governors approved a temporary hold on the requirement that a film needs a seven-day theatrical run in a commercial theater in Los Angeles County to qualify for the Oscars.
Instead, films will be allowed to be released digitally without playing in theaters. However, the streamed film must have already had a planned theatrical release to be eligible in the Oscar race. The film must also be made available on the Academy Screening Room member-only streaming site within 60 days of the film’s streaming or VOD release.
The 2020 FYC guidelines and new fee structures for film for the SAG Awards were also sent to the studios this morning.
“The SAG Awards Nominating Committee will be finalized in early July,” the one-page memo reads. “In light of the pandemic, in-person events are suspended until further notice. As we move to primarily virtual events and digital screeners (though limited mailings are still permitted) we have developed new rules — and a new fee structure — around FYC campaigns geared towards our members.
It continues, “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.”
Also, in the past, studios had to provide DVDs of eligible films to nominating committee members. However, according to the memo, “Digital screeners are now permitted during the pre-nom voting phase. All digital screening platforms and streaming sites must be approved by the SAG Awards.”