DGA Reinstates Theatrical First-Run Rule for Top Award; Announces 74th Annual Awards Date

74th DGA Awards

June 29, 2021

Los Angeles — The Directors Guild of America National Board at its recent meeting unanimously approved reinstating its requirement of an exclusive theatrical run for the Guild’s top award. To be eligible for the DGA’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film Award, films released after June 15, 2021 must have an exclusive theatrical run of at least 7 days prior to any other exhibition. Under the rule, which was first introduced in 2019, feature films released through other distribution platforms on the same ‘day and date’ as they premiere in theaters are not eligible for the DGA Theatrical Feature Film Award. The DGA temporarily suspended the rule for its most recent Awards due to pandemic-related theater closures. At that time, the Guild announced it would reinstate the requirement when theaters reopened.

“After over a year of darkness, theater marquees lighting up across our nation have been a welcome sight for our healing communities,” said DGA President Thomas Schlamme. “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 74th Annual DGA Awards will take place on March 12, 2022, with the eligibility period running from March 1 – December 31, 2021. The first-run theatrical exhibition requirement will apply to all theatrical feature films released June 15, 2021 or later, which is when movie theaters were once again operating at full capacity in both Los Angeles and New York. For theatrical feature films released March 1 – June 14, 2021, the limited exception will still apply.

Precise eligibility rules and entry forms, together with the full 74th Annual DGA Awards schedule will be released later this summer.

DGA Communications Department (310) 289-5333