Hollywood power players return to Sun Valley, DGA announces new rules for 2022

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Every July, Hollywood dealmakers gather for an elite conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Last year the gathering was cancelled, but this year it's back. Photo by CSNafzger / Shutterstock

Every summer, Hollywood movers and shakers gather at an exclusive resort in Sun Valley, Idaho for a conference where deals are made. 

Last year the pandemic put the gathering on hold, but this year it’s back on, with vaccination requirements and a request not to bring children. Media watchers are keeping an eye out for possible new mergers to be announced in this age of consolidation.  

The independent studio Lionsgate has long been seen as an acquisition target, and Shari Redstone of ViacomCBS is also said to be looking for a buyer. 

In film news, the Directors Guild of America says awards eligibility for 2022 requires films to have an exclusive theatrical release of at least seven days. The DGA rules around theatrical exclusivity were relaxed during the pandemic. 

The Academy, the voting body for the Oscars, allowed straight-to-streaming releases to qualify, given the special circumstances of 2020, and for now, the Academy says streaming films without an exclusive theatrical run are still awards eligible. 

This is tricky for Warner Bros., which already announced all its films for this year will debut on HBO Max the same day they open in theaters, making none of their films in 2021 eligible for DGA Awards in 2022.  

DGA Awards are often a precursor to the Oscars, and no doubt several WarnerMedia filmmakers, including “Dune” director Denis Villeneuve, would like to be DGA-eligible.  

There’s the possibility that Warners could make an exception for “Dune,” and put it in theaters for a week before going to HBO Max, but that opens the floodgates for all the other WarnerMedia directors who have been denied a theatrical release in 2021.

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Host:

Kim Masters

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Kaitlin Parker