You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Academy alters documentary rules

Films can screen for seven days in L.A., N.Y.

Feature-length documentarians have been given some slack under the rules that determine their films’ eligibility for Oscar.

In a change approved by the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in regards to the 81st annual Oscars, to given out in 2009 (eligibility period Sept. 1, 2007 through Aug. 31, 2008), filmmakers now must unspool their pics for seven days in Los Angeles County and Manhattan only. Previously, films had to be screened in 10 states on 14 screens.

“By eliminating the multicity rollout requirements, we have significantly simplified the Academy’s rules while still retaining the core intent to ensure that we honor nonfiction work created for theatrical distribution,” said director Michael Apted, chair of the Documentary Branch Executive Committee.

Also, filmmakers whose movies reach the semifinal round of voting will no longer be required to submit two film prints to the Acad. Now, submissions can be made on film or in a digital format, which can save the director both time and money.

“We need the copies early in the process because once the nominations are announced, we have only a couple of days before we start our membership screenings in L.A., the Bay Area and London,” said Academy exec director Bruce Davis.

For documentary shorts, previous eligibility required screenings in four cities over two consecutive days. Unspooling in L.A. or New York will now suffice.

More Film

  • Berlin Facetime: Director Pascal Plante of

    Berlin Facetime: Director Pascal Plante of 'Fake Tattoos'

    Feature-length documentarians have been given some slack under the rules that determine their films’ eligibility for Oscar. In a change approved by the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in regards to the 81st annual Oscars, to given out in 2009 (eligibility period Sept. 1, 2007 through Aug. 31, […]

  • Film News Roundup: Maggie Gyllenhaal's 'Kindergarten

    Film News Roundup: Maggie Gyllenhaal's 'Kindergarten Teacher' Sells to Netflix

    Feature-length documentarians have been given some slack under the rules that determine their films’ eligibility for Oscar. In a change approved by the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in regards to the 81st annual Oscars, to given out in 2009 (eligibility period Sept. 1, 2007 through Aug. 31, […]

  • 'Mug' Review: Blackhearted Satire on Small-Minded,

    Berlin Film Review: 'Mug'

    Feature-length documentarians have been given some slack under the rules that determine their films’ eligibility for Oscar. In a change approved by the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in regards to the 81st annual Oscars, to given out in 2009 (eligibility period Sept. 1, 2007 through Aug. 31, […]

  • Richard Glickman Dead

    Richard Glickman, Engineer and Fog Machine Designer, Dies at 91

    Feature-length documentarians have been given some slack under the rules that determine their films’ eligibility for Oscar. In a change approved by the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in regards to the 81st annual Oscars, to given out in 2009 (eligibility period Sept. 1, 2007 through Aug. 31, […]

  • Aga

    Berlin Film Review: 'Ága'

    Feature-length documentarians have been given some slack under the rules that determine their films’ eligibility for Oscar. In a change approved by the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in regards to the 81st annual Oscars, to given out in 2009 (eligibility period Sept. 1, 2007 through Aug. 31, […]

  • Guillermo del Toro Shape of Water

    'Shape of Water' Lawsuit Spurs Debate Amid Oscar Voting

    Feature-length documentarians have been given some slack under the rules that determine their films’ eligibility for Oscar. In a change approved by the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in regards to the 81st annual Oscars, to given out in 2009 (eligibility period Sept. 1, 2007 through Aug. 31, […]

  • 'This Is Me' Catapults 'Greatest Showman'

    'This Is Me' Catapults 'Greatest Showman' Soundtrack Toward One Billion Streams

    Feature-length documentarians have been given some slack under the rules that determine their films’ eligibility for Oscar. In a change approved by the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in regards to the 81st annual Oscars, to given out in 2009 (eligibility period Sept. 1, 2007 through Aug. 31, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content