Nomadland best picture c Ampas

Source: Todd Wawrychuk / A.M.P.A.S.

Peter Spears, Frances McDormand, Chloé Zhao, Mollye Asher, and Dan Janvey collect the the 2021 Oscar® for Best Picture winner ‘Nomadland’

The 94th Academy Awards will take place at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 27, 2022, and once again distributors will be allowed to set qualifying runs in cinemas, drive-ins, or on streaming platforms.

Making the announcement on Thursday (May 27), the Academy said the eligibility period for Oscars consideration will return to the standard December 31 deadline.

The ceremony was originally set for February 27, 2022. It is understood the Academy wanted to steer clear of the Beijing Winter Olympics that take place from February 4-20, 2022, but did not want to go as late as this year’s April 25 ceremony.

Feature contenders must have a qualifying release date between March 1 and December 31, 2021, giving rise to a compressed 10-month period in which to release contenders. The date range is down from last season’s 14-month cycle (which ended up being January 1, 2020-February 28, 2021), and less than the usual 12-month January 1-December 31 period.

The Academy’s board agreed on Wednesday that due to ongoing effects of the pandemic, last year’s changes to eligibility requirements will remain in effect.

This means films intended for theatrical release that debut first on streaming, VoD “or other broadcast” will qualify so long as they are made available on the Academy Screening Room within 60 days of launch, and meet other eligibility criteria.

The alternative, more traditional, eligibility route requires a film to open in at least one of six qualifying US cities, depending on cinema availability. Scroll to the bottom for more detail on physical screening requirements.

The 94th Oscar nominations will be announced on February 8, 2022, and the Governors Awards are scheduled for January 15, 2022.

The full timetable appears below:

General entry categories submission deadlineMonday, November 15, 2021

Preliminary voting begins 9:00 PT

Friday, December 10, 2021

Preliminary voting ends 17:00 PT

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Oscar Shortlists Announcement

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Eligibility period ends

Friday, December 31, 2021

Governors Awards

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Nominations voting begins 9:00 PT

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Nominations voting ends 17:00 PT

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Oscar Nominations Announcement

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Oscar Nominees Luncheon

Monday, March 7, 2022

Finals voting begins 9:00 PT

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Finals voting ends 17:00 PT

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

94th Oscars

Sunday, March 27, 2022

The Academy’s eligibility criteria covering theatrical screenings state that a film must play for seven consecutive days in a commercial venue and screen at least three times a day, with at least one presentation starting between 18:00 and 22:00.

The film must meet all other eligibility criteria, and the Academy Screening Room is optional.

The six qualifying cities are: Los Angeles County; the five boroughs of New York City; Bay Area (counties of San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, San Mateo and Contra Costa); Chicago (Cook County, Illinois); Miami (Miami-Dade County, Florida); and Atlanta (Fulton County, Georgia).

Drive-in theatres are included as a qualifying commercial venue in the above cities, and films must run for seven consecutive days with at least one screening per day.