Oscar qualifiers drop as Acad mails ballots

Number of eligible pics down 13%

Visit Variety.com’s Academy Central.

Finally some good news for less-than-critically-praised pics such as “Body Shots,” “Baby Geniuses” and “Lake Placid”: They’re among the 244 releases in 1999 deemed eligible for the best picture Oscar.

The total fell 13% from last year’s record level of 281, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Monday. Today, the Acad will mail a list of eligible pics along with ballots to all voting members.

The 1999 pics qualified by running for at least seven straight days in at least one theater in L.A. County following a bow between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31.

Films submitted in the docu, foreign-lingo and short categories are viewed and considered by special voting panels of Acad members. Those categories have different eligibility requirements.

Oscar noms will be announced on Feb. 15.

In other Acad news, 47-year-old film recycling company FPC Inc. will get a special commendation at the March 4 Science and Technical Awards dinner.

FPC is credited with developing an environmentally sensitive way of recycling or destroying film prints. Since its start in 1952, it has processed more than 330 million pounds of discarded prints.

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