×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oscars: New Rules Bar Multi-Part Documentaries Like ‘O.J.: Made in America’

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has barred multi-part and limited series from the best documentary feature category.

AMPAS announced the new rules for the upcoming 90th Annual Academy Awards on Friday. The change would have prevented this year’s winner in the category — Ezra Edelman’s ” O.J.: Made In America” series — from taking the Oscar. The eight-hour documentary, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year, showed in limited qualifying theatrical runs in Los Angeles and New York before being broadcast as a five-part series on ABC and ESPN.

AMPAS did not single out “O.J.: Made in America” in Friday’s announcement, which reads: “In the documentary categories, multi-part or limited series are not eligible for awards consideration. The Documentary Branch Executive Committee will resolve all questions of eligibility and rules.”

“O.J.: Made in America,” directed by Edelman and produced by Caroline Waterlow, topped a strong field at the 89th Academy Awards, including immigrant story “Fire At Sea,” autism story “Life, Animated,” “I Am Not Your Negro,” based on James Baldwin’s writings, and Ava DuVernay’s race relations exploration “13th.”

“O.J.: Made in America” is the longest-running film ever nominated for an Oscar. It also won at the Spirit Awards, the DGA, the PGA and the International Documentary Assn., while “13th” won at BAFTA.

The film is an analysis of race and celebrity in America through the story of accused murderer O.J. Simpson, tracks Simpson’s career as a football star; the history of race relations in Los Angeles; the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman; his subsequent acquittal; and how he was imprisoned for another crime more than a decade later.

The AMPAS board also announced Friday that for the first time, nominations voting in the animated feature film category will be opened up to the entire eligible voting membership.

“Invitations to join the nominating committee will be sent to all active Academy members, rather than a select craft-based group,” the Academy said. “Voting in the nominations round will now be preferential instead of based on a numerical scoring system. Members participating on the nominating committee may view films in their theatrical runs or at other screenings, through the Academy’s streaming site or on DVDs/screeners to qualify to vote.”

The Academy also announced two rule changes that may expand the number of nominees in the Best Picture and Original Score categories. In the Best Picture category, the revised rule states that a team of two people can be considered a single producer;  the Music Branch will now allow a film score written by three or more “equally contributing” composers to be nominated.

 

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Jason Lei Howden, Samara Weaving and

    Daniel Radcliffe On Acting With Weapons Nailed To Your Hands

    How did “Guns Akimbo” director and writer Jason Lei Howden convince Daniel Radcliffe to play a character with guns nailed to his hands? Easy, he sent him the script. Radcliffe joined Howden and “Ready or Not’s” breakout star Samara Weaving in the Variety’s Toronto Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T to talk the limits of [...]

  • Box Office: It Chapter Two Maintains

    Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Continues International Reign With $47 Million

    Pennywise’s reign of terror hasn’t wavered: Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” maintained first place on box office charts, led by another strong showing overseas. The sequel, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, generated another $47 million at the international box office for a foreign tally of $169 million. After two weeks of release, “It Chapter [...]

  • First still from the set of

    Taika Waititi’s 'Jojo Rabbit' Wins Top Prize at Toronto Film Festival Awards

    Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” has won the coveted People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The honor positions the film for a potential Oscar run and bolsters its awards chances. That’s good news for Fox Searchlight, which must have been disappointed by the lackluster critical reception for the movie, a dark comedy [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Racks Up Solid $33 Million Debut, 'Goldfinch' Bombs

    “Hustlers” rolled in the Benjamins this weekend, collecting $33.2 million when it debuted in 3,250 North American theaters. Boosted by rave reviews and stellar word of mouth, “Hustlers” beat expectations and now ranks as the best start for an STX film, along with the biggest live-action opening weekend for stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. [...]

  • German Cinema Is Diverse, But Is

    German Cinema Is Varied, But Is It Too Risk Averse?

    One of the strengths of German cinema is its diversity, says Simone Baumann, managing director of the national film promotion agency German Films. As well as the three films at Toronto directed by female German helmers, there was also German filmmaker Thomas Heise’s documentary film essay “Heimat Is a Space in Time.” Then there were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content