The Academy’s Board of Governors approved rules Tuesday night for the 88th Academy Awards, with tweaks for Best Picture, Visual Effects and the shorts categories.
Best Picture: 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.
Visual Effects: The number of eligible films that will be initially shortlisted for further consideration has increased to a maximum of 20 titles (formerly 10). The number of films that will be shortlisted for nominations voting remains at 10.
Documentary Short Subject: 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 (formerly three to five).
Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film: A film qualifying via a theatrical release must now have a theater run in Los Angeles County for at least seven consecutive days (formerly three) with at least one screening per day (formerly two). 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 (formerly three to five).
|A 2003 look inside the boardroom at Academy headquarters, 8949 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills, Calif.|
Also at Tuesday night’s meeting, the Board voted on lists of potential new members, which the Academy will announce later in the week.
We combed through the 35-page document released Wednesday by the Academy and found some of the "other housekeeping adjustments," as the Academy described.
The definition of the Oscar was given two new adjectives: "Academy Awards of Merit shall be given annually to honor outstanding artistic and scientific achievements in theatrically released feature-length motion pictures, and to honor other achievements as provided for in these rules and approved by the Board of Governors."
For the eligibility rule, the following was inserted: "(Blu-ray format does not meet Digital Cinema requirements.)"
In the Animated Feature category, the Academy has increased the submission requirement of DVDs from 200 to 250.
For multiple categories, the word "paperwork" has been changed "online submission form." The rules go on to say, "The producer or distributor of the film must register online at the Academy’s Awards Submissions site, submissions.oscars.org, and inform the Academy of the details of the film’s theatrical release before the release begins."
In the Documentary Short category, five nominees will be chosen by a second round of balloting, "using a preferential voting system." The previous rule stated "the averaged score."
Added to the music categories is a fourth point detailing who is excluded from eligibility: "4. producers and/or arrangers not responsible for the creation of the original song or score."
Throughout the document, the Academy has changed the "industry" and phrase "motion picture industry" to "motion picture arts and sciences."
In the Animated Short and Live Action Short categories, the revised voting rule states, "Members shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five pictures in each category. The five pictures receiving the highest number of votes in each category shall become the nominations for final voting for the Short Film awards." Gone is previous references to the "10-to-6 point system" and "films receiving an average score of 7.5 or more shall be eligible for nomination."
A new rule was inserted in the Writing categories: "The Writers Branch Executive Committee shall resolve all questions of eligibility and rules."
For the Scientific and Technical Special Awards, rules 26 and 27 were consolidated into one rule in the revised document, with minor wording changes.
Each year, individual branch and category committees review current rules and propose changes. Then, Awards Rules Committee evaluates all proposed changes before presenting its recommendations to the Board of Governors for approval. Updated campaign regulations, which specify how companies and individuals may market to Academy members any movies and achievements eligible for the 88th Academy Awards, are also presented to the Board for approval.
Find the complete list of rules on the Academy's website.
The 88th Academy Awards, for outstanding film achievements of 2015, will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 225 countries worldwide.