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Oscar Shrinkage: 276 Features Qualify for This Year’s Awards, Lowest Count in a Decade

The Academy’s list of features eligible for consideration at the 94th Oscars is down from 2021’s 366 titles

In yet another topsy-turvy pandemic year for theatrical releases, the Academy has named 276 feature films eligible for Best Picture at the 94th Academy Awards. This is a significant dip from last year, when 366 qualifying films set a 50-year record.

This year’s number is the lowest since 2011, when 265 titles qualified. The last time the number of eligible films was below 300 was 2013, when there were 289.

The full, alphabetical list is on the Academy’s website, where you’ll find a mix of studio fare and indies, ranging from the animated “The Addams Family 2” to “House of Gucci” to the crime dramedy “Zola.”

This year’s crop of contenders had to meet Academy rules similar to last year’s, which were adjusted to account for the near complete shutdown of movie theaters during the height of the COVID-19 crisis. Feature films must be more than 40 minutes and run for a minimum of seven consecutive days in a commercial movie theater during the qualifying window of March 1, 2021 through Dec, 31, 2021 – a shorter period than last year, which went from Jan. 1, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021. The film must play in at least one of the following six metropolitan areas: Los Angeles County, New York City, the Bay Area, Chicago, Miami and Atlanta.

The Academy also stipulated, “Films intended for theatrical release but initially made available through commercial streaming, VOD service or other broadcast may qualify if the film is made available on the secure Academy Screening Room member site within 60 days of the streaming/VOD release or broadcast.”  

Voting for nominations begins Jan. 27, 2022 and ends Feb.1, 2022. Nominations will be announced Feb. 8, 2022 and the 94th Academy Awards ceremony will take place on March 27, 2022 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. In the United States, ABC will air the live telecast, which will also air in more than 200 territories worldwide.

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