Home awards Hollywood Awards: Directors Guild Reinstates Theater First Mandate for New Releases

Will the Motion Picture Academy return to the old rules as well? It’s the end of debuting films on streaming platforms for awards eligibility. Quite correct. Back to theaters!

From the DGA:

The Directors Guild of America National Board at its recent meeting unanimously approved reinstating its requirement of an exclusive theatrical run for the Guild’s top award.

To be eligible for the DGA’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film Award, films released after June 15, 2021 must have an exclusive theatrical run of at least 7 days prior to any other exhibition.

Under the rule, which was first introduced in 2019, feature films released through other distribution platforms on the same ‘day and date’ as they premiere in theaters are not eligible for the DGA Theatrical Feature Film Award. The DGA temporarily suspended the rule for its most recent Awards due to pandemic-related theater closures. At that time, the Guild announced it would reinstate the requirement when theaters reopened.

“After over a year of darkness, theater marquees lighting up across our nation have been a welcome sight for our healing communities,” said DGA President Thomas Schlamme. “We celebrate the return of the important role that theatrical cinema plays in bringing together audiences as they collectively experience films as the filmmakers intended them to be viewed.”

The 74th Annual DGA Awards will take place on March 12, 2022, with the eligibility period running from March 1 – December 31, 2021. The first-run theatrical exhibition requirement will apply to all theatrical feature films released June 15, 2021 or later, which is when movie theaters were once again operating at full capacity in both Los Angeles and New York. For theatrical feature films released March 1 – June 14, 2021, the limited exception will still apply.

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