The other argument to be made is the fact it only played for 1 week in 1 theater. I know we use the playing in over 100 theaters for a film to be re-eligible the following year for filmspots. So not sure how to evaluate this as a "theatrical" release. As a straight interpretation, clearly it was released theatrically, but in the spirit of the rule I believe it would be more open to interpretation...
The re-eligibility guidelines and the debut feature guidelines were never meant to overlap like that, unfortunately. Any sort of true, US, theatrical release (as opposed to a festival screening, a one-night engagement, or a television/home video release) was meant to count towards Debut Feature eligibility, even if it was just one theater in NY/LA.
That being said, I'd still be okay with making a one-time exception. These are our awards and, within reason, we should celebrate the films we want to celebrate. In the past, with similar situations, we've listed the film in the FYC threads with the appropriate caveat and left it up to individual voters to gauge eligibility. I worry, though, that just by virtue of making something an option, that biases things in favor of eligibility. And as fair as I want to be to Gerwig, I want to be just as fair to someone like Jordan Peele.
I'm curious if anyone has seen Nights and Weekends
and can at all sense a second directorial voice influencing Swanberg's. I'd also like to find an interview with Gerwig where she discusses her contributions to that film.