HFPA Modifies Eligibility Rules for Foreign Films in Light of COVID-19

May 8, 2020
Golden Globe Trophy

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced additional temporary measures to adjust the requirements for Golden Globe Awards eligibility due to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on foreign-language motion picture distribution and exhibition.

Foreign-Language Motion Picture Release:  To be eligible for the Golden Globe motion picture awards, a foreign-language motion picture must meet the following exhibition requirements:

Must be first released in their country of origin during the 15-month period from October 1 to December 31 prior to the awards

In light of the closure of theatres in many parts of the world, this requirement is temporarily suspended as follows:  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 Golden Globe foreign-language motion picture awards.  The HFPA’s reminders list committee will consider the application of this suspension of the rules on a case-by-case basis on the recommendation of the foreign-language film committee when compiling the annual Golden Globe reminders list in the fall.

Official Motion Picture Screenings:  To be eligible for Golden Globe motion picture awards, an official screening of the foreign-language motion picture must be arranged for all HFPA members:

All members qualified to vote for Golden Globe awards must be invited to an official screening of the eligible motion picture at a third-party facility in the greater Los Angeles area.  HFPA members can also be invited to other screenings of the motion picture.

Additional screening rules for foreign language motion picture

a.     Foreign language motion pictures must be screened for all Active and Lifetime HFPA members.  Foreign language motion pictures should not be submitted for Golden Globe consideration until an official screening date for HFPA members has been approved by the HFPA.  Foreign language motion pictures screened for HFPA members after November 1 each year need not be (and may not request that they be) the only event at that time on the HFPA members’ calendar.

b.     Foreign language motion pictures should be screened and made available as early in the year as possible to avoid the end of year crush but in no event later than the date given in the official Golden Globe Awards Timetable.  However, foreign language motion pictures do not need to satisfy the one-week from release date standard for official screenings for English language motion pictures.

In light of the closure of all theatres and screening rooms in Los Angeles, the requirement that a foreign-language motion picture release must be screened for HFPA members in a theater or screening room is temporarily suspended.  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.

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.