×
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

  • Glass trailer

    'Glass': Five Box Office Takeaways From M. Night Shyamalan's Thriller

    With his fifth No. 1 box office opening, M. Night Shyamalan has plenty to celebrate. “Glass,” the conclusion to a trilogy that consists of the 2000 cult hit “Unbreakable” and 2016’s box office sensation “Split,” topped the box office last weekend — though its win comes with a few caveats. James McAvoy reprised his role [...]

  • Berlin: Patra Spanou Picks Up Panorama

    Berlin: Patra Spanou Picks Up Panorama Title 'Family Members' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Patra Spanou has picked up world sales rights to “Los miembros de la familia” (Family Members), which will world premiere in the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section. Variety has been given an exclusive first look of the film’s trailer. The film is the second feature from writer/director Mateo Bendesky, and is produced by Agustina Costa [...]

  • Great Point Media, The Development Partnership

    Great Point Media, The Development Partnership Join Forces on Slate of Movies

    Great Point Media and The Development Partnership, the development and production arm of the talent agency the Artists Partnership, are joining forces to develop, package, and co-produce multiple films, kicking off with three projects, including “Chasing Agent Freegard,” starring James Norton (“War & Peace”). “Chasing Agent Freegard,” which is being produced by “Captain Phillips” co-producer [...]

  • Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’

    Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’ Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s Miami-based FiGa Films, a leading sales agent on the independent Latin American scene, has announced the acquisition of Brazilian doc “Landless,” and released a trailer for the Costa Rican-Spanish drama “El despertar de las hormigas.” Both features will play at this year’s Berlinale Forum and come from young Latin American filmmakers making their [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds Cancels Arm Surgery to

    Ryan Reynolds Cancels Arm Surgery to Promote 'Deadpool 2' in China

    Ryan Reynolds canceled surgery on his arm to fly to China and charm “Deadpool” fans in Beijing on Sunday ahead of the franchise’s unexpected China theatrical debut. Just last week, Fox suddenly announced that a re-cut, PG-13 “Deadpool 2” would hit Chinese theaters starting this Friday – the first time the notoriously blood-splattered and foul-mouthed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content