Golden Globes Temporarily Ease Eligibility Requirements for Films Not in the English Language

Golden Globe statuettes are on display - Getty-H 2018
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2020 films made outside of the U.S. in a language other than English got some good news on Friday from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization of Los Angeles-based journalists for outlets based abroad that hosts the annual Golden Globe Awards.

The HFPA announced that, in light of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, it is temporarily easing its eligibility requirements to qualify for the best foreign language film Golden Globe.

Foreign-language films no longer "must be first released in their country of origin during the 15-month period from October 1 to December 31 prior to the awards." Now, the HFPA has declared, "Foreign-language motion pictures that had a bona fide theatrical release planned to begin in their country of origin during the period from March 15 until a date to be determined by HFPA when cinemas in that country have generally reopened, may instead be released in any country in any format (e.g., a motion picture format such as in theatres or on pay-per-view or a television format such as subscription streaming service, subscription cable channel, broadcast television, etc.) and will still be eligible for the [award]."

The organization is also temporarily suspending its requirement that films that wish to be considered in the category "must be screened for HFPA members in a theater or screening room" in the L.A. area. Now, the HFPA has declared, "In lieu of such in-person screenings: 1) distributors of foreign-language motion pictures must contact the HFPA to arrange a screening date on the official HFPA calendar; and 2) by that date, distributors must provide all HFPA members with a screening link or a DVD copy of the motion picture so that members may view it at home. This alternate screening procedure is in effect from March 15 until a date to be determined by HFPA when cinemas in the Los Angeles area have generally reopened."

Friday's announcement comes on the heels of a similar one made on March 26 that outlined temporary changes to the eligibility requirements for English-language films.

The new missive concludes by stating, "The HFPA will continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on motion picture distribution and exhibition and may make other temporary variations to those rules as it considers appropriate in the future."