A lot of film premieres at festivals or in cinemas had to be postponed or moved online due to the Coronavirus crisis. The European Film Academy (EFA) has therefore exceptionally extended the eligibility rules for films participating in the European Film Awards. The standard version of these rules includes the condition that a film’s first official screening (be it at a festival or at a regular cinema) must be between 1 June 2019 and 31 May 2020. The change concerns films that had such a premiere scheduled until 31 May 2020, which could not take place because of the pandemic. Provided that such a film will premiere theatrically or online before the end of November, it is – exceptionally – eligible for this year’s European Film Awards. This is under the condition that the rights-holders agree to provide the film on the EFA VOD Platform for the EFA Members, the 3,800 film professionals across Europe who vote for the nominations and award recipients.

In a statement by EFA Chairman Mike Downey, the European Film Academy elaborates on its motivation for the change:

First and foremost, the board and management of EFA would like to wish all its members the very best in these difficult times. Hopefully we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, in the meantime, we have had to make some adjustment to our rules, to ensure the ongoing future of the selection for this year’s European Film Awards.

One thing remains sure, the European Film Academy remains committed to European cinema and its creators. Due to the Coronavirus, the great wealth and diversity of these films can currently only be experienced from home. We stand with the EFA Members, our partners, colleagues and friends, and look forward to the time when film shoots resume, cinemas re-open and the important social aspect of watching films together in a theatre returns.

Meanwhile, we cannot ignore the dramatic changes the pandemic has brought to the film industry. Many premieres had to be re-scheduled, postponed or moved online. We are therefore exceptionally changing the eligibility rules for the EFAs 2020 to allow those films that could not premiere as planned to still be recognized
Films can now be submitted for the European Film Awards 2020. Submission deadline is 31 May.

For further information and the full regulations please refer to the EFA Website.

Berlin, 12 May 2020