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Save the Dates: The 2019-2020 Film Awards Calendar Is Shorter, Tighter, and Stressful

Here's the deadlines and dates for next year's awards race, which will move at breakneck speeds into a jammed pre-Oscar January.

An Oscar statue is places inside the ballroom at the 89th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif. When the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences announced changes to next year's Oscars broadcast, including the controversial creation of a "popular film" category, it prompted a host of questions about what this means for the world's biggest awards showOscars Popularity Contest, Beverly Hills, USA - 6 Feb 2017

The Academy Awards

Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences threw down the gauntlet with a new show date of February 9, 2020, a full two weeks earlier than this year, they hoped to improve ratings and to shorten what has become a very long road to the Oscars. The ratings will remain to be seen, but already we know that the new date is creating a red-carpet traffic jam worthy of the 405.

The schedule is now so short that the Academy pushed the Scientific and Technical Awards out of the awards season altogether, to June 2020. (They figure these awards aren’t tied to achievements in any specific awards year.)

The Santa Barbara Film Festival, which features conversations and panels with Oscar contenders, is now in the middle of January, rather than February. It will overlap with the Sundance Film Festival, which runs January 23-February 2. To give the Oscars room, the Berlinale is moving later (February 20-March 1, 2020).

As they have for the past two years, the Golden Globes awards will air on the first Sunday in January. The BAFTAs, which are usually two weeks ahead of the Oscars, are now only one week apart.

Breathing room will be at a premium. This shortened schedule means that Academy members, who often catch up on screeners during the holiday vacation, have less time to watch films before the five-day nomination period begins January 2.

The real impact of this crowded calendar is on indie films, which historically gain momentum at the box office between nominations and Oscars. Now that those dates are less than a month apart, many will be forced to play in the saturated and expensive peak awards-release corridor of November and December. Maybe the battle for screen space could inspire what’s so far seemed nearly impossible: getting awards-worthy movies to consider release dates during the rest of the year.

Here’s the what the awards calendar looks like so far:

Friday, October 25, 2019
BAFTA Britannia Awards

Saturday, November 16, 2019
The Academy’s 11th Governors Awards

Saturday, December 7, 2019
European Film Awards

Saturday, December 7, 2019
International Documentary Association Awards

Monday, December 9, 2019
Golden Globes nominations announced

Thursday, January 2, 2020
Palm Springs International Film Festival awards gala

Thursday, January 2, 2020
Oscar nominations voting begins

Friday, January 3, 2020
AFI Awards luncheon

Sunday, January 5, 2020
The Golden Globes ceremony will air live coast to coast on NBC

Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Oscar nominations voting ends 5 p.m. PT

Tuesday, January 7, 2020
New York Film Critics Circle Awards gala

January 8, 2020
National Board of Review gala

Monday, January 13, 2020
Oscar Nominations Announcement

Wednesday January 15, 2020
Launch of Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Producers Guild Awards

Saturday, January 25, 2020
Directors Guild Awards

Sunday, January 26, 2020
SAG Awards

Monday, January 27, 2020
Oscar Nominees Luncheon

Thursday, January 30, 2020
Final voting begins 8 a.m. PT

Sunday, February 2, 2020
BAFTA Film Awards

Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Final voting ends 5 p.m. PT

Saturday, February 8, 2020
Independent Spirit Awards

Sunday, February 9, 2020
92nd Academy Awards 5 p.m. PT

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