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Golden Globes Amend Eligibility Rules After Coronavirus Outbreak Disrupts Film Releases

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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced new eligibility rules for the 2021 Golden Globes to reflect the ongoing effect the coronavirus outbreak has had on the film and TV industries. Over the past few months, many productions have been forced to shut down while several studios and networks have postponed the release of upcoming films and TV series. 

Originally, to be eligible for any of the Golden Globe film categories, an official Los Angeles-based screening of the contending movie must have been arranged for all members of the HFPA. The screenings for these English-language movies could take place before the release or within one week after its theatrical debut in Los Angeles. 

Now that theaters and screening rooms in the area have been closed, the requirement has been temporarily suspended from March 15 to April 30, 2020. Instead, distributors now must coordinate a screening date on the official HFPA calendar that meets the timing requirements of the 2021 eligibility rules. Those distributors must also provide all members with a screening link or DVD copy of the film so that they can view from home. 

The requirements for a theatrical release -- a film “made available for exhibition in theaters or on pay-per-view cable or pay-per-view digital delivery (not subscription cable or digital delivery) in the greater Los Angeles area for a minimum seven-day period” prior to Dec. 31 -- have also been temporarily modified. Now, any film that had “a bona fide theatrical release planned to begin in Los Angeles” from March 15 to April 30 may now be released on a TV format and will still be eligible. 

The HFPA will also consider movies on a case-by-case basis when compiling all eligible films later this fall. 

In the meantime, the HFPA “will continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on motion picture and television distribution and exhibition and may extend these suspensions of the Golden Globe award rules and/or may make other temporary variations to those rules as it considers appropriate in the future.”

As of right now, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are confirmed to host the 78th annual Golden Globe Awards. While typically held at the beginning of January, a formal date has yet to be announced.  

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