[Editor’s Note: This article was originally published June 15]
Now that the 2021 Oscars have officially been delayed from February 28 to April 25, 2021, many other award shows and festivals that play a crucial role on the Oscar season circuit are also changing their dates. IndieWire will be keeping track of the changing 2020-2021 awards season with this running list of new dates for important events on the circuit.
Independent Spirit Awards (January 21, 2021 Announcement)
The Film Independent Spirit Awards, which has traditionally been held the day before the Oscars, is breaking with tradition by moving its ceremony to Thursday, April 22 at 10pm ET. The awards ceremony had originally bumped to Saturday, April 24 following the Oscars push, but now it will be held on the Thursday before the Oscars. Organizers are calling the Thursday move “a one-time break from the show’s usual tradition as a live daytime event occurring on the Santa Monica beach the Saturday before the Oscars.”
“The Spirit Awards are a time for us to come together – filmmakers and film lovers alike – and celebrate the movies, shows and performances that have sustained us through these incredibly challenging times,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “While 2020 left a lot to be desired, it was an amazing year for film and TV. Visual storytellers with powerful and unique voices brought us so much joy and light during these difficult months. We’re thrilled to share our nominations with the world, and I encourage everyone to join Film Independent and vote on the winners.”
AFI Film Awards (October 5 Announcement)
A statement from AFI reads: “Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced that AFI AWARDS 2020, celebrating the year’s most outstanding achievements in film and television, will take place Friday, February 26, 2021. Unique in its celebration of the film and television arts’ collaborative nature, AFI AWARDS is the only national program that honors creative teams as a whole – recognizing those in front of and behind the camera. Honorees are selected based on works which best advance the art of the moving image, enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form, inspire audiences and artists alike, and/or make a mark on American society.”
“AFI AWARDS celebrates the best in the art of the moving image – and we look forward to honoring the films and artists who have inspired and entertained us during these unprecedented times.” said Bob Gazzale, President and CEO of the American Film Institute. “Now more than ever, we need to shine a light on art that drives culture forward.”
More details about event will be released in the coming month
WGA, PGA, and ACE Eddie Awards (September 30 Announcement)
Per a report from IndieWire’s Anne Thompson: “The virtual 32nd Producers Guild Awards will be held on Wednesday, March 24. Screenplay nominations (Original, Adapted, Documentary) for the 2021 Writers Guild Awards (73rd Annual) will be announced on February 16, 2021; final WGA awards will be presented at concurrent ceremonies on Sunday, March 21, 2021, in Los Angeles and New York.”
A statement from the ACE reads: “American Cinema Editors (ACE) announced today that the 72nd Annual ACE Eddie Awards, recognizing outstanding editing in film and television, will be held on Sunday, April 18, 2021. Exact plans for the event are not yet solidified and it may be a virtual event in light of the pandemic. The awards ceremony will unveil winners for outstanding editing in 13 categories of film and television including this year’s newest category, Best Edited Animated Series (Non-Theatrical). “The burst of incredible animation on the small screen is exciting to watch,” stated ACE Executive Director Jenni McCormick. “We’re pleased to add a category this year that recognizes the superlative accomplishments of film editors working in this space.”
New York Film Critics Circle (September 11 Announcement)
Per a statement from the organization: “The New York Film Critics Circle announced today they will vote for the 2020 awards on December 18, 2020. Films released either in theaters or on digital platforms between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 will be considered. The date for the annual Gala Awards dinner is to be announced. Membership for 2020 is being frozen and all current members will be eligible to vote regardless of whether their jobs were affected by COVID-19. No new members will be voted in this year.”
“This is a year unlike any other in our lifetimes. But the world of movies hasn’t stopped, and already, even in this very strange year, we’ve seen a range of films and performances that have impressed and moved us,” stated NYFCC Chair Stephanie Zacharek in a statement. “It’s more important than ever to celebrate the way movies can connect us, and the NYFCC is looking forward to honoring the best of 2020.”
National Board of Review Awards (September 9 Announcement)
A press release states: “The National Board of Review announced today that it will reveal its 2020 honorees on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Films will be eligible if screened by the NBR and released either theatrically or digitally on or before February 28, 2021. If a movie’s release is digital, it must have had a theatrical release planned prior to the onset of COVID-19. The NBR will announce its plans for their celebration at a later date.”
“A well-told story has unmatched power to bring us all together, no matter how physically far we are from one another,” said Annie Schulhof, President of the National Board of Review. “We look forward to honoring the best films and performances of 2020, a highly unusual year that is nevertheless poised to provide unique and outstanding achievements in cinema.”
Annie Awards (August 24 Announcement)
Variety reports: “The 48th Annie Awards has been scheduled for Friday, April 16, 2021, either in person or virtually, shifting along with other awards shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to ASIFA-Hollywood officials. The organization will make a final decision on a live or virtual ceremony sometime in October…Nominations will be announced on Wednesday, March 3, and online balloting will begin on Monday, March 29, ending Friday, April 9.”
“What this epidemic has taught us is to be flexible in the ways we deliver our message and share our experiences,” said Sue Shakespeare, ASIFA-Hollywood vice president, in a statement. “Regardless of how the Annies ceremony is presented this year, it will honor all of the talent in our animation community with the utmost respect and inclusion.”
Gotham Independent Film Awards (July 31 Announcement)
Per an official statement: “The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) has announced their 30th anniversary of the IFP Gotham Awards will now take place on Monday, January 11, 2021. Films released through February 28, 2021 will be eligible. Deadline for submissions will be Thursday, October 1st, with nominations announced on Thursday, November 12th. Further information regarding the IFP Gotham Awards will be announced in coming months.”
“The IFP Gotham Awards have continued to be a staple in independent film and television and we look forward to celebrating the 30th Anniversary and helping to kick off this year’s unconventional awards season,” said IFP Executive Director Jeffrey Sharp.”
Director’s Guild of America Awards (July 28 Announcement)
The Director’s Guild of America has announced in a statement: “The Directors Guild of America today announced that the 73rd Annual DGA Awards will take place on Saturday, April 10, 2021. Further information including submission requirements and venue will be announced at a later date.
Palm Springs International Film Festival (July 10 Announcement)
A statement from the Palm Springs International Film Festival reads: “The Palm Springs International Film Festival Society has announced new dates for the 32nd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival. The festival will move to Thursday, February 25, 2021 through Monday, March 8, 2021. On Thursday, February 25, the annual Film Awards Gala will kick off the festival at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Full days of film screenings will begin February 26 including the Opening Night presentation that evening and will conclude with Best of Fest on March 8. The date change is to ensure the health and safety of our patrons, staff, filmmaker guests and partners and to make sure we can have a memorable and enjoyable festival experience.”
Art Directors Guild Awards (July 8 Announcement)
Per an official release: “The Art Directors Guild’s 25th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards honoring Production Design in theatrical motion pictures, television, commercials, animated features, and music videos will take place April 10, 2021. The location will be confirmed in the near future.” Nominations will be announced March 2, 2021.
Screen Actors Guild Awards (July 2 Announcement)
SAG Awards executive producer Kathy Connell confirms the 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will now take place on Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 8pm ET. Key deadlines and dates have also been released for the celebration of excellence in film and television.
Per a statement from the Screen Actors Guild: “With this new show date, the SAG Awards is extending its eligibility period by two months. Motion pictures, primetime television, cable, and new media programs first exhibited or broadcast during the period of January 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021 may qualify.”
“Submissions for nomination consideration for the 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will open Monday, September 21, 2020 and will close Friday, November 20, 2020,” the statement continues. “With the actor’s permission, producers, studios/networks, agents, managers, or publicists may submit a performance for consideration in a category of the actor’s choosing. Actors may also submit their own performances. All submissions must be submitted online at sagawards.org/submissions.
Nominations for the 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be announced on Thursday, February 4, 2021.
Visual Effects Society Awards (June 24 Announcement)
Per IndieWire’s Bill Desowtiz: “The 19th annual VES Awards will take place April 6, 2021 at the Beverly Hilton. The Visual Effects Society honors visual effects excellence in a photoreal feature, episodic TV, supporting photoreal feature, and animated feature. In addition, there are also the honorary VES Lifetime Achievement Award, the Visionary Award, and the Award for Creative Excellence.
Cinema Audio Society Awards (June 23 Announcement)
The Cinema Audio Society (CAS) has set the date and timeline for the 57th Annual CAS Awards, which are being delayed along with the Oscars. The 2021 CAS Awards ceremony will take place April 17, 2021 in Los Angeles. The eligibility period for movies that can compete for the 2021 CAS Awards is January 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021. Final nominees in each category will be announced Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
Similar to the Oscars changing their eligibility rules to allow streaming and VOD films, the CAS Awards have announced that for the 57th Awards year only “theatrical motion pictures that had a previously planned theatrical release but are initially made available on commercial streaming or VOD service may qualify under certain circumstances” for awards.
“2020 has been a year fraught with challenges that have threatened our physical, economic, and moral health as a community,” said CAS President Karol Urban in a statement. “This is an important time to feel a sense of oneness and to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of our professional contributions as sound mixers. The world is watching and listening like never before. Therefore, the Cinema Audio Society is delighted to announce the calendar for our 57th CAS Awards. While details concerning the nature of our event are still being determined, we look forward to the celebration.”
Golden Globe Awards (June 22 Announcement)
The 2021 Golden Globes has grabbed the February 28 date abandoned by the Oscars. The 2021 Globes will be hosted by comedians Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and will air live coast to coast from 5-8 p.m. PT/8-11 p.m. ET on NBC. The show is available in more than 210 territories worldwide. Click here for more info on the Golden Globes date change.
Critics Choice Awards (June 18 Announcement)
The Critics Choice Association (CCA) has announced the 2021 ceremony will take place March 7, 2021. The event will once again be hosted by Taye Diggs and be broadcast live on The CW network. The ceremony will continue by handing out its film and television awards in a single ceremony. The Critics Choice Awards usually take place in January in between the Golden Globes and the Oscar nominations announcement (the 2020 awards show took place January 12), but the 2021 ceremony is moving to March now that the 2021 Oscars are set for April,
“Now more than ever, people are turning to film and television as a source of comfort, as a means of education, and as a way to connect,” said Critics Choice Association CEO Joey Berlin in a statement. “With the revised timeline, we are looking forward to celebrating all of the brilliant new work created during this extended season.”
Television nominations for the 2021 Critics Choice Awards will be announced January 18, 2021, followed by the announcement of film nominations on February 7, 2021.
Santa Barbara International Film Festival (June 17 Announcement)
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is shifting its dates for its 36th annual event, which will now take place from March 31 – April 10, 2021.
“Like so many other prestigious ceremonies and events, we’ve had to adjust our plans in this extremely unprecedented era,” said SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling in a statement. “There has never been a more critical time to celebrate cinema and its ability to get us through extremely
challenging circumstances, whether on a personal level or on a global scale, by keeping us entertained, informed and inspired.”
While SBIFF is a festival, the event also gives out tribute awards that have become a crucial stop on the awards season circuit. Last year’s event honored Laura Dern, Brad Pitt, Bong Joon Ho, and Renee Zellweger, all of whom went on to win Oscars earlier this year. Oscar nominees Florence Pugh and Cynthia Erivo were also recipients of tributes, as were Oscar contenders Awkwafina, Taron Edgerton, Beanie Feldstein, and Taylor Russell.
BAFTA Awards (June 15 Announcement)
The 2021 BAFTA Film Awards are on the move following today’s announcement that the 93rd Academy Awards are being delayed by two months. The 2021 BAFTA ceremony was set to take place February 14 but will now be held on April 11. The 2021 Oscars are taking place April 25, eight weeks after the original February 28 date. Variety first reported the news about the BAFTA date change. The BAFTAs are the first major awards ceremony to push back its 2021 ceremony date following the Oscars delay.
“This change from the previously announced date of Feb. 14 acknowledges the impact of the global pandemic and accommodates an extended eligibility period. Further details on the ceremony will be announced later in the year,” BAFTA said in a statement.
The organization added, “The date for the 2022 Film Awards, announced last year as 13 February, is currently under consideration as part of the Awards Review (set up following this year’s Film nominations), and any changes will be published once the Review has been completed, alongside other findings and recommendations.”
IndieWire’s awards expert Anne Thompson wrote of the Oscars’ date change: “With a two-month extension, studios will have extra time to finish their movies and postpone release dates without sacrificing their chances at Oscar contention. Ridley Scott, for example, is prepping to virtually direct the last few weeks of shooting in Ireland on ‘The Last Duel’ starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, which was interrupted March 13. He has edited one hour of the period adventure after four weeks filming in France, and was trying to finish in time for a December 25 release date.”
This is the second time in a week the BAFTA Awards have made an announcement following changes executed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy announced last week it would be committing to 10 Best Picture nominees starting at the 94th Academy Awards, where it would also begin implementing “representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility.” The BAFTAs followed that announcement by saying it would join the Academy in adopting “representation and inclusion standards.” What those requirements are have yet to be revealed. The Academy plans to make an announcement on the matter by July 31.
Back in 2018, BAFTA became the first film awards organization to introduce diversity criteria. The group used the BFI Diversity Standards as a requirement for eligibility for the British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer categories in 2018. BAFTA plans to “tighten the requirements” moving forward and “also roll them out to cover BAFTA Games and Television Awards.”