Branch votes due Nov. 26; list set for December reveal

A one-week extension has been given to members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences documentary branch to determine which films belong on the shortlist of feature docs that will be considered for Oscar nominations.

AMPAS documentary branch governor Rob Epstein told Variety that the 160 members of the branch would have until Nov. 26 to render their shortlist votes, giving them Thanksgiving week to narrow all the documentaries down to a shortlist of 15.

“There are 130 submissions this year,” Epstein said. “Every year it’s been going up, and this is certainly the biggest year yet.”

The films on the shortlist will be revealed in early December, Epstein said.

The Academy changed its shortlist process this year, enabling all members of the branch to rank their favorites from among every entry, rather than divide the submissions among small committees whose members would give a point score only to the projects they were assigned to view.

By opening up the shortlist process to a wider voting body, the Academy aims to ensure that a handful of people don’t have a disproportionate effect on the selections. However, concern has been raised over there not being enough time for doc voters to view every submission.

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