Next year’s Academy Awards ceremony will be held on Feb. 9, the earliest date in its history, officials confirmed on Tuesday.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which administers the annual movie honors, proposed the date shift last year as part of a series of changes to the show. Several of the more controversial changes were scrapped after massive public backlash, including a proposed “popular film” category.
Moving up the ceremony from its usual slot, the last Sunday in February, will shorten the awards season. The timeframe for Oscar campaigning can be a long slog for movie industry professionals. The season unofficially starts when hopeful awards contenders launch their films at major festivals in late August and early September and continues through a series of industry events and prizes in the fall, before it reaches the major awards shows in January and February.
The 2021 and 2022 Oscar ceremonies will revert back to the old time slot, the academy said Tuesday, because of the timing of national holidays and other big events, such as the Super Bowl and the 2022 Winter Olympics. The 2021 show will be held on Feb. 28, and the 2022 show will be held on Feb. 27.
Traditionally, the Academy Awards have moved to early March in years in which the Winter Olympics have been held, because the games’ closing ceremony usually occurs on the last Sunday of February. But the 2022 Olympics will end on Feb. 20.
Beyond 2022, the academy and Oscars broadcaster ABC plan to “continue to evaluate dates,” the academy said Tuesday.