×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Acad to set new rules for docs

Changes will narrow the number of qualifying pics

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is set to announce new rules this week for Oscar’s documentary category that will have far-reaching implications for the next year’s race. The biggest change is that in order for any film to qualify for the 2012-13 awards season, it must have been reviewed by either the Los Angeles Times or the New York Times, which reported the story on Sunday.

The change solves two issues for the documentary branch of the Academy, Ric Robertson told Variety. First, it will reduce the number of films that branch members must watch for the nomination process.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, it ensures that films that are nominated have distribution and have had a theatrical release.

In general, both LAT and NYT reviewers write only about documentaries that are shown in theaters, which, by default, limits the pool to films with theatrical distribution.

“We can’t judge every documentary made for every possible audience,” Robertson said, adding that the branch’s executive committee has been looking for ways to ensure that nominated films have a “legitimate theatrical release.”

“This isn’t a new quest for the documentary branch, it’s just a different way of trying to solve the puzzle.”

The change is likely to hit the International Documentary Assn.’s DocuWeeks fairly hard because the showcase, which takes place annually in New York and Los Angeles, was designed to provide a de facto Oscar-qualifying run. For a fee, each film would play for a full week in theaters, regardless of whether a filmmaker had secured distribution.

Robertson acknowledges that DocuWeeks has been a good way for filmmakers to get their work out. “but we have to have our own criteria.”

More Film

  • David Picker dead

    David Picker, Studio Chief Who Acquired James Bond Novels for UA, Dies at 87

    David Picker, who headed United Artists, Paramount and Columbia’s motion picture divisions and was known for forging relationships with groundbreaking filmmakers and material, died Saturday in New York. He was 87 and had been suffering from colon cancer. MGM tweeted, “We are saddened to hear that a member of the United Artists family has passed [...]

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Bob Iger's $65 Million Compensation 'Insane'

    Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger’s total compensation for Disney’s fiscal 2018 was a whopping $65.6 million. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, calls that sum “insane.”  While speaking at the Fast Company Impact Council, the filmmaker and philanthropist insisted that this level of corporate payout has a “corrosive effect on society.” Disney took [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International

    'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International Box Office With $30 Million

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” led the way at the international box office, summoning $30 million when it opened in 71 foreign markets. The supernatural thriller collected $26.5 million in North America for a global start of $56.5 million. “La Llorona,” based on the Mexican folklore about the Weeping Woman, [...]

  • Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona'

    Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona' Wins Worst Easter Weekend in Over a Decade

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” ascended to the top of domestic box office charts, conjuring $26.5 million when it opened in 3,372 North American theaters. “La Llorona” is the latest horror movie to outperform expectations, further cementing the genre as one of the most reliable box office draws. Even so, [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content