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Organizations tweak award rules

Despite no radical changes, mutations are plenty

This year’s award season sees no radical changes, but the number and rules of awards get plenty of tweaks. Among established events, here are some of the more notable ones:

Oscars

The Academy’s biggest rule change is in the best picture rules: The Acad can now, in “a rare and extraordinary circumstance,” allow more than three producers to be included on the nomination.

Animated films were redefined to specify that the characters must be animated “frame by frame,” a significant number of characters must be animated, animation must figure in 75% of the running time and the film must be at least 70 minutes long.

In rare cases, either two production designers or two art directors, but not two of both, may now be nominated for a single film.

In the visual effects category, a committee of the vfx branch will meet Dec. 13 to narrow the field to 15 films, then meet again Jan. 3 to pick the seven for the bake-off.

New language was also approved to address qualifications for films released as digital cimema packages.

BAFTAs

BAFTA has introduced a new chapter for Films Not in the English Language, leading to a change in the voting for the award. Where in other categories members vote for 12 films in the first round, chapter members will vote for five films in the first round, and the top five vote-getters will be announced at the long-list stage Jan. 4. The entire membership will choose the winner from those five.

For the music award, org is now asking that cue sheets be provided for all films that make the long list Jan. 4.

BAFTA has also relaxed its rules for distributors’ use of quotes, images, Web links and retail DVDs.

Screen Actors Guild

Stuntmen and stuntwomen get recognition from the SAG Awards for the first time, with the addition of categories for outstanding performances by stunt ensembles in film and in television.

Writers Guild of America

The WGA adds its first-ever videogame writing award. Kudo will be judged by a special panel of writers from the New Media Caucus and/or guild members who have been active in writing vidgames.

Guild also introduces online voting for all its awards.

American Cinema Editors

A new ACE Eddie: for editing reality TV.

Intl. Documentary Assn.

New award: the Alan Ett Music Documentary Award.

Visual Effects Society

New award: Outstanding Effects in an Animated Motion Picture.

IFP Gotham Awards

IFP has “tweaked” its language, adding the phrase “and made with an economy of means” to its criteria.

Broadcast Film Critics Assn.

The BFC will have its first-ever nominations special, airing in December on VH1. Org also adds a special kudo, the Joel Siegel Award, “for great work on and off screen.”

For a complete list of organizations that bestow awards, go to variety.com/orgs

A correction was made to this article on Oct. 25, 2007.