FILE PHOTO: Finished mounted Oscar Statuettes are seen at the Polich Tallix foundry in Walden, New York, U.S., January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The 2021 Oscars movie awards ceremony has been postponed until April from February due to the coronavirus epidemic, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Monday.
The ceremony for the film industry’s highest honors will take place on April 25, 2021, the organizers said. It was originally scheduled for Feb. 28.
The coronavirus epidemic shut down movie theaters worldwide in mid-March and brought production of films to a halt.
The Academy also extended the deadline by which movies must be released in order to be eligible for an Oscar nomination to Feb. 28, 2021 from Dec. 31, 2020.
“Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control,” Academy President David Rubin and Academy Chief Executive Dawn Hudson said in a statement.
The production shutdown meant that many movies may not be finished or released before the usual year-end deadline. Dozens of other movie releases have been moved to 2021.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Richard Chang