rules for the 85th Academy Awards with the most significant changes affecting the Music, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Visual Effects categories:
Music (Original Song)
In the Music (Original Song) category, the Executive Committee may recommend that a fourth songwriter for an individual song be considered in rare and extraordinary circumstances. This amends the rule that has been in effect since 2005, whereby up to two songwriters could be eligible per song, although a third songwriter could be added if he or she were found to be an essentially equal contributor.
In the Foreign Language Film category, films must be submitted to the Academy in 35mm or DCP, but are no longer required to be exhibited in those formats in their countries of origin.
The award given in the Makeup category will now be known as the Makeup and Hairstyling Award. Additionally, during the nominations process, all branch members who have seen the seven shortlisted titles will receive ballots to list their top three choices.
In the Visual Effects category, nominees will be selected from a pool of ten films chosen by the Branch Executive Committee by secret ballot. Previously, the committee could put forward as many as ten productions or as few as seven.
Other adjustments 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.
Rule changes affecting the Documentary and Short categories, also for the 85th Academy Awards, were announced in January. The Board of Governors approved a rule change requiring a movie review from The New York Times or the Los Angeles Times to qualify a documentary for the Oscars.
The “most significant changes,” said the press release, will allow more members to vote in the Documentary Feature, Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories. Another change allows for Academy members to view eligible films on “digital or DVD screeners” for Documentary Feature and the short film categories.
The 85th Academy Awards, for outstanding film achievements of 2012, will be presented in less than 200 days on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 225 countries worldwide.