Academy changes tune on songs

One film can only have two nominated songs

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has altered limits and procedures in its original song category.

Starting with the 81st awards in 2009, the Acad will permit no more than two songs from a single film to be nominated for an Oscar, although there’s still no limit to the number that may be submitted for consideration. In the last two years, “Dreamgirls” and “Enchanted” have each received three Academy Awards song nominations and walked away empty-handed.

After recent protests by some Oscar voters, the current two screenings of the eligible song clips (held in New York and Los Angeles) will be supplemented by DVDs of those clips, which will be made available to music-branch members unable to attend the screenings.

Ballots will accompany the DVDs and must be returned by mail. Voters are required to watch the scenes in which the music appears.

Music-branch members who have one or more songs in contention for nominations do not vote in that phase of the balloting. They remain eligible to vote on the final ballot to select the winner.

The only other significant change involves the procedure for the foreign-language film voting. It’s still a two-phase process. Now, the phase one committee will vote to determine only six of the nine films that will ultimately go to the phase two committee. The other three titles will be determined by members of the 20-person foreign-language film award executive committee. The executive committee’s selections will be made after the phase-one voting has been tallied.

The governors of the Academy approved the rules on Tuesday evening. The org always reviews the past awards season and updates its voting and campaign regs accordingly.

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