Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

Major Rule Changes for Docs and Animation Coming to 90th Oscars


New rules would have made Oscar-winner O.J.: Made in America ineligible and Finding Dory a likely nominee last season

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In what can only be described as a major backlash, the Academy just announced some big changes in the Documentary and Animated Feature categories as well as Music, Best Picture, and campaigning.

In Documentary:

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]n the Documentary categories, multi-part or limited series are not eligible for awards consideration. The Documentary Branch Executive Committee will resolve all questions of eligibility and rules.[/box]

Had this rule been in place last season, it would have likely made the Oscar-winning O.J.: Made in America ineligible. Even though the documentary branch has gone through its own periods of controversy for being too insular and even snubbing more high-profile frontrunners in the past, this will heavily impact the way that documentaries are submitted for Academy consideration.

In Animation:

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]For the first time, nominations voting in the Animated Feature Film category will be opened up to the entire eligible voting membership. Invitations to join the nominating committee will be sent to all active Academy members, rather than a select craft-based group. Voting in the nominations round will now be preferential instead of based on a numerical scoring system. Members participating on the nominating committee may view films in their theatrical runs or at other screenings, through the Academy’s streaming site or on DVDs/screeners to qualify to vote.[/box]

This now open eligibility comes off as animus towards the animation branch for its snubs of huge hits like Finding Dory and The Lego Movie in favor of foreign and independent animated films. Expect to see a lot less of films like The Red Turtle and My Life as a Zucchini and more studio blockbuster sequels.

In Music:

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]In the Music (Original Score) category, in the case of a score that has three or more equally contributing composers, the composers may be considered as a group. If the score wins the Original Score award, the group would receive a single statuette.[/box]

In Best Picture:

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]In the Best Picture category, in determining the number of producers eligible for nomination, a bona fide team of not more than two people shall be considered to be a single “producer” if the two individuals have had an established producing partnership as determined by the Producers Guild of America (PGA) Producing Partnership Panel. Final determination of the qualifying producer nominees for each nominated picture will be made by the Academy’s Producers Branch Executive Committee.[/box]

Elsewhere, the Academy further defined some rules already in place, referring to them as “housekeeping adjustments.” They include how a film can be campaigned:

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Prior to nominations, Academy members may not be invited to or attend any lunch, dinner or other catered affair that promotes an eligible film for awards consideration that is not associated with a screening. This does not prohibit reasonable food and beverage from being provided at screening venues or at an adjacent location immediately before or after the screening. This change is part of the continuing effort to address the issue of excessive campaigning and keeping the attention on the movies themselves. [/box]

For the complete 90th Academy Awards rules and campaign regulations, visit

The 90th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018, 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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