While China has decided to reopen over 200 cinemas in Shanghai after nearly two months of enforced shutdown to stop pandemic of coronavirus from spreading, movie theatres and screening rooms nearly all around the world are indefinitely closed due to the global health crisis.
However, some reports suggest that at least until April 30, 2020 (but possibly beyond that), films can qualify for consideration by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) even if they are not screened in a theater first.
Earlier this week, the 90-member HFPA announced that it will be altering long-standing rules for Golden Globe motion picture eligibility and screenings for the coming year; change that could include the unheard of step of first being seen on broadcast TV. However, producers and studios, according to Deadline, must prove they had a “bona fide theatrical release planned to begin in Los Angeles during the period from March 15 to April 30 2020”.
Unlike other press associations, HFPA – in most cases – get their own private screenings for eligible films. “The new guidelines state that distributors must contact HFPA to arrange a screening date on the official HFPA calendar that meets the timing requirements of the Golden Globes eligibility rules,” reported Variety. “Distributors must provide all HFPA members with a screening link or a DVD copy of the film on the date the screening is scheduled so that members may view it at home.”
Describing this alternate screening procedure as temporary, HFPA is suspending its requirement that its roughly 90 members be invited to an “official screening” of a film “at a third-party facility in the greater Los Angeles area” either prior to the L.A. area theatrical release of a film or within a week after it.
The statement released by the organisation said, “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.”
The leadership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is currently deliberating how it would like to handle this unprecedented crisis in the run-up to the 93rd Oscars, and is expected to announce its conclusions following its board meeting on April 14.
Though the date for the 78th Golden Globes has not yet been revealed, in January it was announced that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler would be returning as hosts for the 2021 ceremony.
– With information from Variety and Deadline.