DGA Awards Set 2022 Date & Timeline, Reinstate Theatrical First-Run Rule For Best Picture – Update

UPDATED with full 2020 timeline: The DGA on Wednesday unveiled the full timeline for its 2022 ceremony, which earlier this summer set a date for March 12, 2022 as it recalibrated some of its eligibility rules that had to be adjusted after a pandemic-impacted 2021 season.

As part of the 2022 timeline, the guild said that nominations for its Theatrical Feature Film and First-Time Feature Film categories will be announced on Thursday, January 27. Television, Commercial, and Documentary nominees will be announced the previous day.

See the full timeline at the bottom of this post.

PREVIOUSLY, June 29: The Directors Guild said Tuesday that its board has reinstated a requirement that for feature films to be eligible for DGA Awards’ marquee Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film Award must first have an exclusive seven-day theatrical run before hitting any other platform if they are released after June 15, 2021.

The news comes as the guild set its eligibility periods for the 2022 DGA Awards, which it said today have been set for March 12.

Watch on Deadline

Last year, the DGA along with the rest of the major film-season awards groups relaxed rules on eligible films showing first in theaters with most shut down during the pandemic. The original rule, established in 2019, feature films released through other distribution platforms day-and-date with their theatrical premieres would not be eligible

Under the 2022 requirements, the eligibility period runs from March 1-December 31, 2021, in lockstep with the 2022 Oscars. The first-run requirement made official today by the DGA will apply to all theatrical feature films released June 15 or later. The guild said that for theatrical feature films released March 1-June 14, 2021, the limited exception will still apply.

However a film like Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow, directed by Cate Shortland, which drew strong reviews today (including Deadline’s) and is scheduled to debut day-and-date on July 9 with theatrical and Disney+ would miss the boat unless they quickly arrange a seven-day qualifying run beginning this Friday. The bigger problem will be for Warner Bros. which has deemed that their entire theatrical release schedule for 2021 will debut day-and-date with a monthlong run on HBO Max. The slate includes such expected awards contenders as Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, Clint Eastwood’s Cry Macho, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, the Will Smith-starring tennis drama King Richard, and more including Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming July 1 HBO Max debut No Sudden Move. With the new rule, unless release strategy is changed to accommodate the DGA rule, all of these films would be ineligible for the top DGA award.

The DGA did not say if the new rule would also affect the First Time Feature Directorial category as well, but it would seem logical that it would. Streamers like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Apple will obviously be affected too if they were not planning on seven-day theatrical qualifying engagements due to the still loose Oscar rules in place for the pandemic.

“After over a year of darkness, theater marquees lighting up across our nation have been a welcome sight for our healing communities,” DGA president Thomas Schlamme said after news of the board vote was released. “We celebrate the return of the important role that theatrical cinema plays in bringing together audiences as they collectively experience films as the filmmakers intended them to be viewed.”

The DGA previously said it would reinstate the first-run rule after Los Angeles and New York cinemas reopened.

The 2022 Oscars, meanwhile, will be held Sunday, March 27, a full month earlier than this year’s latest-ever Covid-challenged April 25 show.

2022 DGA Awards Timeline

THEATRICAL FEATURE FILM AWARD

Wednesday, September 22

Entry Forms for DGA and Non-DGA Films available online

Friday, October 22

Deadline for Theatrical Feature Film entries with a planned, scheduled, or actual theatrical release during the period of March 1-June 14, 2021.

All eligible films theatrically released during the period of June 15-December 31, 2021 will be automatically entered by the DGA

Wednesday, December 15

Online voting for Theatrical Feature Film Nominations opens

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Deadline to vote online for Theatrical Feature Film Nominations

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Announce Five Theatrical Feature Film Nominees

Online voting for Theatrical Feature Film Award opens

January 31 – February 4, 2020

Membership Screenings of Nominated Theatrical Feature Films

Friday, March 11, 2022

Deadline to vote online for Theatrical Feature Film Award

TELEVISION AWARDS

Tuesday, September 28

Entry Forms for TV & Commercials available online

Wednesday, December 1

Deadline for submitting TV & Commercials entries

Wednesday, December 15

Online voting for Television Nominations opens

Friday, January 21, 2022

Deadline to vote online for Television Nominations

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Announce all Television and Commercials Nominees

FIRST-TIME FEATURE FILM DIRECTOR AWARD

Wednesday, September 22

Entry Forms for First-Time Feature Film Director available online

Friday, October 22

Deadline for First-Time Feature Film entries with a planned, scheduled, or actual theatrical release during the period of March 1-June 14, 2021

Monday, November 8

Deadline for First-Time Feature Film entries with a theatrical release during the period of June 15-December 31, 2021

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Announce Five First-Time Feature Film Director Nominees

DOCUMENTARY AWARD

Wednesday, September 22

Entry Form for Documentary available online

Friday, October 22

Deadline for Documentary entries with a theatrical release or broadcast during the period of March 1-June 14, 2021

Monday, November 8

Deadline for Documentary entries with a theatrical release or broadcast during the period of June 15-December 31, 2021

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Announce Documentary Nominees

74th ANNUAL DGA AWARDS

Saturday, March 12, 2022

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