Academy could move ceremony earlier in future years

It’s official: The Oscars won’t be moving to an earlier date, at least until after the 2012 ceremony. In a statement released late Wednesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences said the date of the 2012 edition “will not be significantly earlier than the now-traditional last Sunday in February.”

The org went on to say that the Academy’s board of governors remains open to a new date in subsequent years and will continue to weigh the challenges and benefits of such a change.

The wording “will not be significantly earlier” sounds cagey, but it’s likely the org is simply playing it safe and that the event will be held on the last Sunday in February. While the Academy has debated a date change in the past few years, the possibility of a 2012 shift generated more attention than previous discussions.

AMPAS was full of news Wednesday, including the unveiling of the foreign-language submissions, the shortlist of eight documentary-short contenders and a major executive shift next year.

The short docus qualifying are “Born Sweet,” “Killing in the Name,” “Living for 32,” “One Thousand Pictures: RFK’s Last Journey,” “Poster Girl,” “Strangers No More,” “Sun Come Up” and “The Warriors of Qiugang.”

Three to five of them will receive Oscar noms, which will be announced Jan. 25.

The 83rd annual Academy Awards are set for Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theater and telecast by ABC.

Early Wednesday, AMPAS announced that exec director Bruce Davis will leave the org at the end of June next year. No succession plans have begun. Davis joined AMPAS in 1981.

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