New Oscar Rules Limit Acting Nominations, Require DVD Screeners

New Oscar Rules Limit Acting Nominations, Require DVD Screeners

AMPAS

Rule changes will make it harder for documentaries to qualify, but easier for short films

The Academy announced announced a number of rule changes in the acting, documentary and Best Picture categories on Friday.

Under the changes, studios and production companies must now limit eligibility to a maximum of 10 actors and 10 actresses for each film. And DVD screeners are now required as part of a film's submission in the Best Animated Feature category.

Additionally, documentary feature films must now screen a minimum of four times daily during their qualifying theatrical releases in both New York and Los Angeles. The screenings must begin between noon and 10 p.m., and at least one screening daily must begin between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

In the animated short film and live action short film categories, films that have received prior nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution may now qualify for Academy Awards consideration by winning a festival award on the Short Films Qualifying Festival List. Without a festival win, the nontheatrical distribution prior to a theatrical release would still disqualify a short film's eligibility.

The changes effectively make it harder for documentary films to qualify, while making it easier for short films to qualify.

The changes were approved by the Academy Board of Governors on Tuesday night, at the same meeting in which they approved minor campaign rules and agreed to the invitations of 271 new members.

The organization also further tweaked the rules for producer eligibility in the Best Picture category, a subject of controversy in the past. Under the new rules, a two-person producing team shall be considered a single “producer” as long as the team meets certain stipulations.

Also read: Lupita Nyong'o, Michael Fassbender, Barkhad Abdi Invited to Join Motion Picture Academy

The 87th Academy Awards will take place on Feb. 22, 2015 at the Dolby Theatre in the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.

Here's the release:

AWARDS RULES APPROVED FOR 87TH OSCARS®

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved rules for the 87th Academy Awards® at their most recent Board meeting. For the complete rules for the 87th Academy Awards, visit oscars.org/rules.

In the Acting categories, studios and production companies must now limit eligibility to a maximum of 10 actors and 10 actresses for each film, and must submit those names on the Official Screen Credits (OSC) form. The Academy's annual Reminder List of Eligible Releases will now list actors and actresses separately for each film. Actors Branch voters would still make their own determinations about whether a performance should be considered under the Leading Role or Supporting Role category on their nominations ballots.

In the Animated Feature Film category, DVD screeners are now required as part of a film's submission.

In the Documentary Feature category, films must now screen a minimum of four times daily during their qualifying theatrical releases in both New York and Los Angeles. The screenings must begin between noon and 10 p.m., and at least one screening daily must begin between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

In the Music (Original Song) category, songwriters from established musical groups may now have the option to request that their song submission be considered under their group name. If the request is approved and the song wins the Original Song award, the group would receive a single statuette.

In the Best Picture category, in determining the number of producers on a motion picture who are eligible for nomination, a two-person producing team shall be considered a single “producer” if the individuals have had an established producing partnership for at least the previous five years and have produced as a team at least two previous theatrically released feature films, instead of a minimum five theatrically released feature films.

A rule change in the Production Design category will allow the branch greater flexibility in recognizing the achievements of the principal artists responsible in creating the environment for the story. When the environment of a film is substantially composed of animation and digital artistry, a digital artist who is primarily responsible for the achievement may now be considered for the Production Design award. Previously, only “production designers,” “art directors” and “set decorators” were named as eligible for Awards recognition.

In the Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories, films that have received prior nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution may now qualify for Academy Awards consideration by winning a festival award on the Short Films Qualifying Festival List. Without a festival win, the nontheatrical distribution prior to a theatrical release would still disqualify a short film's eligibility.

For the first time, the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal award-winning films in the Alternative, Animation, Narrative and Foreign Film categories at the 2014 Student Academy Awards will all be eligible for Oscar® consideration in the Short Film categories. Similarly, the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in the Documentary category at the 2014 Student Academy Awards will be eligible for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category.

Other adjustments to the rules include standard date changes and other “housekeeping” adjustments.

Rules are reviewed annually by individual branch and category committees. The Awards Rules Committee then reviews all proposed changes before presenting its recommendations to the Academy's Board of Governors for approval.

The Academy also has launched its new Awards Submissions platform for entering information required for Academy Awards consideration. This replaces the Academy's previous submissions site for feature films, and now includes the ability to submit online for the Animated Feature Film category. Submitting individuals are encouraged to register now at submissions.oscars.org. The deadline for submitting OSC forms for the 87th Academy Awards is 5 p.m. PT on Wednesday, December 3, 2014.

The 87th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.