Acad board evaluates shorts

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Board of Governors met last night to discuss a number of topics, most notably the org’s decision to drop documentary shorts and live-action shorts from future Oscar consideration.

Since announcing more than a month ago that it was axing the two categories, the Academy has been drawing fire over the decision.

Earlier this week, many noted filmmakers and executives, including Robert Altman, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Joe Dante, Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Philip Kaufman, John Landis, George Lucas, Michael Mann, John Singleton and Robert Zemeckis, united to protest the decision and took out full page ads in the trades in an attempt to influence the 36 members of the Board of Governors.

According to Bruce Davis, the Academy’s executive director, the possibility exists that the decision could be modified or rescinded. For that to happen, however, a majority vote is needed.

“I think most of the arguments that I’ve seen in letters have been anticipated in the original report and answered,” Davis said yesterday, prior to the Board’s meeting. “I’m not going to guess where the board will come down.”

An Academy source said that there was much acrimony from several Short Films Branch Governors, including Saul Bass, June Foray and Carl Bell, after the Acad’s recent decision.

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