At a meeting on June 22, where the governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences finalized rules for the upcoming 83rd Academy Awards, the biggest change was in the Visual Effects category, which will now feature five nominees rather than three. Previously, the only period during which it was possible to have five visual effects nominees was from 1977 through 1979.
The remaining significant changes were made in the Animated Feature Film category. The running time for a motion picture to qualify in that category has changed from at least 70 minutes to greater than 40 minutes, which is consistent with the running time requirements for feature films in all other categories. Short films in all categories have always had to run no longer than 40 minutes. Animated films that ran between 40 and 70 minutes were prevented from being able to qualify before this newly appointed rule was made.
Also in the same category, a sentence regarding motion capture was added to clarify the definition of an animated film. It now reads: “An animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of greater than 40 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.”