Call me a cynic, but a move by the Academy of Motions Picture Arts & Sciences to make “day-and-date” film releases ineligible for Academy Awards (according to today’s Variety) appears to be the latest attempt to prevent kudo-worthy indies from getting awards. Just like the brief “screener ban” was a veiled attempt to stifle the ability of smaller movies to reach Academy members’ eyeballs, this latest effort seems directly connected to Hollywood’s Oscar envy–with bigger movies increasingly shut out come Academy-time.
AMPAS president Sid Ganis told Variety, “Right now, we’re the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. If you want to premiere your movie on TV, there’s a very fine academy that handles that.”
Films like “Bubble” and Magnolia Pictures’ upcoming slate (funded by Mark Cuban’s 2929 Entertainment) and “I Am A Sex Addict” from IFC Film’s First Take series (which is owned by Cablevision) are all at risk. I would hope these two big media entities will call up Mr. Ganis and illuminate him about the current changes in distribution and exhibition, especially for lower budget films.