With this year's Oscars only just behind us, still nursing the wounds of receiving the lowest viewing figures in its history, along with criticism from those who did not appreciate award winners being allowed to use their podium time to make speeches about politics and world issues, the announcement has now been made of the date and eligibility cut off for the 94th Oscars ceremony next year.
Originally scheduled to take place on February 27th, 2022, The Academy Awards has now been pushed back to the 27th of March. The announcement also included details on the cutoff for those hoping to qualify for one or more of the awards up for grabs, which has been returned to its usual December 31st, 2021 date. The cutoff for the 93rd Awards this year had been extended by two months to allow more films to enter despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The year-end eligibility cut off was always going to happen for next year's ceremony, but the event itself had been expected to happen at the end of February or beginning of March to avoid a clash with the Super Bowl on February 13th and the Winter Olympics which run from the 4th to the 20th of February in Beijing.
According to those in the know, the reason for the delay comes down to the amount of time needed to give Academy members and the public enough opportunity to see the films before voting for their winners, and also the producers in charge of televising the event enough time to put together a program based on the nominees, the list of which will only be available on the 8th February.
While the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to be mostly passed by the time the 94th Academy Awards rolls around, its impact will still shape the awards for another year, with the amendment included this year that films can qualify without having a theatrical release, providing one had been announced and then cancelled due to the pandemic will stay in place for the coming ceremony. New eligibility criteria is then expected to be announced in advance of the 95th Awards ceremony in 2023.
While there is still not any guarantee that the pandemic will have been put behind us entirely in the coming months, the Oscar voting dates have provisionally been set for 27th of January 2022 through to 1st of February, with the final vote casting taking place from the 17th to the 22nd of March. The Academy's Governors Awards ceremony will no longer be held in the fall, and has gotten a new date of Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, with the awards to be announced that evening.
The 94th Oscars will look to eradicate some of the bad press that surrounded the 93rd ceremony, which was heavily panned as pandering to "woke" sentimentalities, as well as being, in light of world events, not something that many people had any interest in watching at the time. Some questioned why the general public would want to endure high-paid celebrities sounding out their personal grievances at the state of the world, and patting each other on the back for their wins, while the world outside was still struggling its way through a pandemic that continued to take lives in many countries each day. Whether the 94th Awards can gain back some of that viewer interest remains to be seen, but if figures see another decline, then one would have to question if there will be any way back for what was once a must-watch TV event of the year. Here are the most important dates tying into the Academy Awards and the events surrounding them.
- General entry categories submission deadline- Monday, November 15, 2021
- Preliminary voting begins 9 a.m. PT- Friday, December 10, 2021
- Preliminary voting ends 5 p.m. PT - Wednesday, December 15, 2021
- Oscar Shortlists Announcement - Tuesday, December 21, 2021
- Eligibility period ends - Friday, December 31, 2021
- Governors Awards - Saturday, January 15, 2022
- Nominations voting begins 9 a.m. PT - Thursday, January 27, 2022
- Nominations voting ends 5 p.m. PT - Tuesday, February 1, 2022
- Oscar Nominations Announcement - Tuesday, February 8, 2022
- Oscar Nominees Luncheon - Monday, March 7, 2022
- Finals voting begins 9 a.m. PT - Thursday, March 17, 2022
- Finals voting ends 5 p.m. PT - Tuesday, March 22, 2022
- 94th Oscars - Sunday, March 27, 2022