Criteria for determining release date

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Before the IMDb Help section was redesigned not too long ago, there was a page which stated the following (which I've quoted from another post on this message board):
A screening/exhibition of a film or video is considered to be valid for the purposes of determining the initial release date/year if any of these criteria are met, even if the work undergoes subsequent changes/post-production work/edits:
  1. It screened in front of a paying audience (i.e. they attended a paid event).
  2. It won any kind of award at the event
  3. It was reviewed by a legitimate/established publication or critic based on that screening
I can't find any page in the IMDb Help section that says that now, however.

Are the above criteria still in effect? If so, can they be put back up in the IMDb Help section? (This issue comes up frequently with regard to filmmakers who have concerns about the year in parentheses after their film title after having shown their film at a festival.)
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gromit82, Champion

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Posted 2 years ago

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Dan Dassow, Champion

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gromit82,

I also was unable to find the criteria you posted for release date. This is what appears to be in effect.

https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/titles/release-dates/GVUUDEPJNAW6G35P?ref_=helpsrall#
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Michelle, Official Rep

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Hi All -

I'm just following up here to confirm that the criteria gromit82 referenced is from a very old policy that is no longer the current criteria for Release Dates. Currently, there is no differentiation between a paid or unpaid event, as long as the title was released to the general public it is acceptable (so press screenings, for example, would not be eligible for a release date). 

I hope this helps! 
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gromit82, Champion

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Michelle: I'm fine with that change, but do the current policies mention that a release to the public counts "even if the work undergoes subsequent changes/post-production work/edits"? That tends to be a significant point when filmmakers are requesting to have the year of their film changed.

Basically, I am encouraging the staff to include some language in the IMDb Help section to help filmmakers understand what counts as a release to the public for IMDb purposes, since there still seems to be a lot of doubt among filmmakers about that issue and we get a lot of questions about it here.
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Michelle, Official Rep

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Hi gromit82 -

Thanks for pointing this out and suggesting the update, I have filed a ticket for our editorial team to discuss and review the current Release Dates Help page and to see if we can update the text. Once it's been addressed I will let yo know the outcome here.