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The Oscar Awards this year will look different, but our Oscar Awards Contest won’t!

Our ballots are ready for you to fill out, and you have until April 25 (the day of the ceremony) to turn them in.

The ceremony, originally scheduled for February 28, will require social distancing and likely use a mixture of live and virtual appearances, according to many sources. COVID also changed the way we experienced this season’s Oscar-nominated films. Since movie theaters around the country have been closed, releases of highly-anticipated films have been delayed. Some, like Wonder Woman 1984, opened directly on streaming services.

To address this, the Academy extended the deadline for qualifying films from December 31 to February 28 and paused the requirement that movies have a theatrical release to qualify. Because of these moves, Anthony Breznican says in a November Vanity Fair article that there’s concern this will be “the ‘Asterisk Oscars,’ with too few contenders, or an unfair advantage for streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, which don’t rely on theatrical debuts to reach a core audience.”

It could even mean a difference in how the Academy votes, Cassandra Butcher, an Academy member, awards strategist, and the chief marketing officer for Bron Studios said in the Vanity Fair article. “We’re not gathering together. We’re not breaking bread together. We’re not drinking together,” Butcher said. “Now we’re in our homes voting the way we want to really vote. The Academy could be  everywhere this year, all over the place.”

This means Oscar winners will be harder than ever to predict. It will be exciting, whether you’re a true aficionado who can pick the winners without even seeing the nominees, or a casual movie fan that wants to take your best guess. Either way, if you enter our contest, you could win a prize! The individual who picks the winner in the most award categories will be our champion (including a tiebreaker question, if necessary). This year’s winner will receive a watch-at-home movie prize pack, including a movie of our choice and movie theater style snacks for two. Contest open to Ypsilanti library patrons only.

Don’t want to watch this year’s winners in the theaters, or pay to stream? As soon as any nominated titles are available on DVD, we will add them to our collection. Since many of the nominees are expected to be from streaming services this year, we may not be able to get all nominated titles on DVD. Keep checking our catalogs for availability. Request and return a paper copy at a curbside pickup or fill out an online form at ypsilibrary.org/movies. We’ll announce our contest winner Monday, April 26th, the day after the ceremony.

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