There have been some small silver linings to the coronavirus.
Most recently, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association eased the Golden Globes' eligibility requirements for foreign films. For the GCC’s filmmakers, this might be a closer step to striking gold, especially for those whose content has been limited to Netflix MENA or local television.
The HFPA's temporary measure states that "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 means films released in theatres, on television, or through streaming services such as Netflix, remain eligible for a best foreign-language film award. The association also added that they will continue assessing the pandemic impact on distribution and may tweak further rules if they think it’s appropriate.
Back in 2019, Rami Malek rightfully bagged an Oscar for his performance in Bohemian Rhapsody. Earlier this year, the Middle East continued to make Hollywood headlines with its films gracing international screens. From to Brotherhood and For Sama being nominated for Oscars, to Ramy Youseff winning a Golden Globe for his eponymous show, the coming years promise to unfold better narratives for Middle Eastern cinema.
Moreover, an alternate screening procedure has taken effect since March 15 and will continue until the Los Angeles area reopens.
Foreign-film distributors must contact the HFPA to arrange a screening date, and provide all members with a link or DVD to view the motion picture from home.
Before the pandemic, films' eligibility included a theatrical release in their nation of origin between October 1 and December 31 before the ceremony.
The Golden Globes occur in January each year, and while Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are on-board as hosts for next year's 93rd ceremony, an official date is yet to be announced.