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DGA to Allow Streamed Films to Qualify for 2021 Awards

(Image credit: DGA)

Films that get their first viewing on streaming services or VOD will be eligible for Directors Guild of America 2021 awards under a temporary exception related to COVID-19.

Ordinarily, a theatrical film has to have a seven-day in-theater run before any streaming or VOD window to qualify for the awards.

But with theaters shutting due to the coronavirus, DGA said an exception is warranted and will apply it to the relevant categories--Theatrical Feature Film, First-Time Feature Film, and Documentary.

The DGA Board approved the exception unanimously. It will apply to theatricals that can show they had a planned theatrical release with a "commercial motion picture theater distribution chain in Los Angeles or New York"; that it was for after March 13, when theaters were closed, and that they were then instead streamed or offered on pay-per-view for at least seven days.

DGA is still working on the precise wording of the eligibility criteria given that the pandemic is still a moving target.