×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oscars: Academy Makes Key Changes in Documentary, Music and VFX Categories

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced updates to the organization’s rules and campaign regulations for the 91st Oscars on Tuesday. The most drastic changes come in the categories of documentary feature, original score, and original song.

For documentaries, the organization will now grant eligibility to any film that wins a “qualifying award” at a competitive film festival, regardless of distribution platform. That further opens the doors for a streamer like Netflix, or even television companies like HBO, to forgo the previously held theatrical release requirement entirely. That is, provided they win a prize from an Academy-approved list of festivals, which will be made available in the spring. It also levels the playing field for international hopefuls.

A critic review requirement is still in place for documentary features, but the list of approved outlets has expanded in New York and Los Angeles (though one of those outlets, LA Weekly, no longer employs a film critic). Reviews from television critics are still not acceptable, however.

The music branch, meanwhile, has opted for a two-step nominations process akin to the documentary branch’s. In both the categories of original score and original song, a preliminary voting round will produce a shortlist of 15 finalists for nominations. Five nominees will then be determined for each category. An added wild card: these two rounds will be decided using the preferential balloting system.

The visual effects branch has opened things up, making the bake-off procedure more inclusive for its nominating committee. Visual effects bake-off reels can now be streamed online and voters can attend satellite bake-off screenings as well, while voting can be done online. Previously, committee members could only vote in person at the Academy’s Visual Effects Bake-off in Los Angeles.

The number of post-nominations Q&A screenings has now been limited to four across the board, regardless of category or country. Documentary and foreign film nominees formerly enjoyed two additional screenings. Also, to align with credits eligibility in the best picture category, rules in both the animated feature and documentary feature categories have been updated to allow for more than one producer to be designated as a nominee.

Previously announced, the Academy will begin overseeing campaign outreach to the membership via its own mailing houses. Studios, distributors, and filmmakers will be required to use that structure, which is similar to the one employed by the Television Academy, to send sanctioned awards materials to members who have opted in.

More Music

  • Sony Pictures logo

    Sony Pictures Profits Rise to $489 Million but Music Profits Tumble

    Profits at Sony Pictures rose to $489 million for the financial year running to the end of March 2019. That compares with $376 million in the previous financial year. The pictures division result was achieved despite a fall in revenue. That dropped from $9.13 billion in the preceding financial year to $8.87 billion in the [...]

  • Taylor Swift's "ME!" Video Brings the

    Swift Take: Taylor's Dazzling 'ME!' Is a Phantasmagorical Sugar Rush (Watch)

    Taylor Swift has been leaving Easter eggs for her fans, with clues about the title, themes, et al. of her new single. The video, as it turns out, is almost like diving into a literal basket of Easter eggs. The opening title card for “ME!” reads “directed by Dave Meyers and Taylor Swift,” but we [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen Drops New Song, 'Hello

    Bruce Springsteen Drops New Song, 'Hello Sunshine' (Listen)

    While listeners of SiriusXM’s E Street Radio got an advance listen — actually several advance listens — Bruce Springsteen didn’t officially drop his new single, “Hello Sunshine,” until midnight ET — and released an accompanying lyric video as well. While it’s great as far as lyric videos go, of course what really matters here is [...]

  • Pink Hurts 2B Human album

    Album Review: Pink's 'Hurts 2B Human'

    You’d never want to reduce a Pink album strictly to the math, but the strength of her records tends to have a pretty strong correlation to two factors: the number of Max Martin/Shellback productions and the amount of F-bombs dropped. Now, put those two together, and it’s pure gold, but either one is a pretty [...]

  • Beetlejuice review

    Broadway Review: 'Beetlejuice'

    “Such a bold departure from the original source material!” wisecracks the odd-looking fellow sitting on a coffin at the start of the Broadway musical “Beetlejuice.” The weird, nasty and outrageous title character is talking about a short lament just sung by a sad teen at her mother’s gravesite, as he breaks the fourth wall (“Holy [...]

  • Ron HowardBreakthrough Prize, Arrivals, NASA Ames

    Ron Howard Talks New Luciano Pavarotti Documentary

    If one is an anomaly, two are a coincidence and three are a trend, then Ron Howard might strictly become a music documentarian after “Pavarotti” hits theaters. The documentary about the world-famous Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti comes on the heels of Howard’s “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week” and “Made in America,” a look at [...]

  • Ariana Grande Olivia Munn Michael Che

    Celebrities vs. Critics: Why This Battle Has No Winners (Column)

    When actor Olivia Munn tweeted a “short essay on…ugly behaviors” late Wednesday night, she insisted that a blog had been unfairly maligning her for years. She wrote that she wanted to confront the idea that baseless critiques, particularly those aimed at women, are never okay no matter how famous the target may be. On the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content