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Oscars: Academy Resumes In-Person Screenings for Members After Nominations

The screenings at Academy headquarters had been suspended during COVID

AWARDS BEAT

In a move that came on the same day that Oscar nominations were announced, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed plans to resume in-person screenings for members in Los Angeles. The screenings, in the past a central part of every awards season for L.A.-based Oscar voters, were suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they will start up again on Monday, Feb. 21 with a double bill of Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast” and Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers.”

According to a calendar made available to members, the screenings will run at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in the Academy’s Beverly Hills headquarters for 21 consecutive days, beginning on Feb. 21 and ending with a screening of MGM’s “No Time to Die” on March 13, four days before final voting begins. All 38 feature films nominated for Oscars, plus the 15 nominated shorts, will be screened once during that period, typically in double bills.

“No Time to Die,” which runs two hours and 44 minutes, and “Drive My Car,” which runs two hours and 59 minutes, are the only films that will run solo.

The double-bill format will group documentaries and international films together, but animated features will typically serve as the late show after an early evening screening: “CODA” followed by “Encanto,” “Dune” followed by “Luca,” “West Side Story” followed by “Raya and the Last Dragon.” Two films about TV personalities in crisis, “Being the Ricardos” and “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” will screen back-to-back one night, while the next will bring “House of Gucci,” the movie for which Lady Gaga was snubbed, and then “Spencer,” the one for which Kristen Stewart was not.

Other double bills include “Nightmare Alley” and “The Lost Daughter,” “The Power of the Dog” and “tick, tick…BOOM!” and the classic-drama twofer of “Cyrano” and “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”

One Saturday will be devoted to three different programs covering all three of the Oscars short-film categories.  

Unlike past years, the calendar does not list any screenings at the Linwood Dunn Theater, the Academy’s smaller theater in its Mary Pickford Center in Hollywood. Currently, it also does not list any upcoming screenings in New York or London.

Academy members are entitled to bring up to three guests to the screenings, though no children under 13 are admitted.

Members screenings have typically run in the Goldwyn on weekends for most of the year, often with Q&As following the screenings. Then, after nominations, members screenings were set up at the Goldwyn and the Dunn to allow voters a chance to see the nominees on a big screen.  

Those screenings did not happen last Oscar season, and the Academy announced in the fall that it would not hold screenings for its members during 2021, though it did hold public screenings in its two theaters in the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

In the nomination round of voting, more than 300 films were available in several online viewing rooms accessible only to Academy members.