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Academy’s New Oscar Rules Stick with Best Picture Status Quo

Academy's New Oscar Rules Stick with Best Picture Status Quo

On Tuesday June 23rd, the Academy Board of Governors met and approved rule changes for the 88th campaign season. And there was no mention in their announcement of any changes in the Best Picture category on the number of possible nominees, although some Academy members have been lobbying for a return to the basic five. There was a debate at the meeting on the subject, but the Board opted to stick with the status quo.

Of course they did. It’s finally in everyone’s interest to increase the odds that a commercial movie like “American Sniper” will be included in the nominees. Especially ABC, which is concerned about a ratings slide.

Here are the changes that went through:

In the Best Picture category, to qualify as a producer nominee for a nominated picture, the producer must have been determined eligible for a Producers Guild of America (PGA) award for the picture, or must have appealed the PGA’s refusal of such eligibility. Final determination of the qualifying producer nominees for each nominated picture will be made by the Academy’s Producers Branch Executive Committee.
Finally, a long overdue change recognizes the increased number of VFX-driven movies every year: the Academy has increased the number of eligible films to be considered for the eventual shortlist of 10 in the Visual Effects category to a maximum of 20 titles. 
Also responding to an increase in the number of documentary shorts produced and submitted each year, in the Documentary Short Subject category, the number of films that will be shortlisted for nominations voting has increased from 8 to 10 titles. Instead of a possible three, four or five nominees, the number is now set at five.

Read: Academy Governors, Let’s Go back to Five Best Picture Nominees

In the Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories, a film qualifying via a theatrical release must now have a theater run in Los Angeles County for at least seven consecutive days with at least one screening per day. The film also must appear in the theater listings along with the appropriate dates and screening times.  In both categories, the number of nominees is now set at five.
The 88th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.  The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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