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‘One Night in Miami’ and ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ Among Music Scores Not Eligible for Oscars and BAFTAs (EXCLUSIVE)

BAFTA also saw 13 films submitted for animated feature while Oscars have 27 available on the Academy Screening Room.

Original Score Ineligibilities for Oscars and
Courtesy of HBO MAX / WARNER BROS. / AMAZON STUDIOS

The music branch has been notorious for high-profile disqualifications and ineligibilities in the last few years (prominent examples include “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Cloud Atlas” and “There Will Be Blood”). Last week, the BAFTA Awards website released a draft of what films are eligible for the upcoming show, set to take place on April 11, with nominations being announced on March 9. The list notes a film’s eligibility during the newly revamped round one voting period, which began on Jan. 12 and will conclude on Jan. 26.

The British Academy provided a roadmap of the musical scores that are not eligible for the Academy Awards and should not be expected for the shortlist announcement of 15, scheduled for Feb. 9.

The biggest contender that will be missing is “One Night in Miami” by composer Terence Blanchard. Distributed by Amazon Studios and directed by Academy Award winner Regina King, the film was seen as a major hopeful for the veteran musician, who received his first nomination for 2018’s “BlacKkKlansman.” To be eligible for the BAFTAs, a film must have 50% original music, while AMPAS requires 60% for qualification. With the inclusion of multiple songs, either threshold would not have been met, and it was decided that the score would not be submitted to either awards bodies. Blanchard will still contend for his work on Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” from Netflix. Leslie Odom Jr. and Sam Ashworth’s song “Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami” was submitted for original song.

HBO Max and Warner Bros.’ “Judas and the Black Messiah,” composed by Mark Isham and Craig Harris, is also not eligible for its music. Isham, whose exceptional career includes only one nomination for 1994’s “A River Runs Through It,” partnered with first-time feature composer Craig Harris for director Shaka King’s examination of the murder of political activist Fred Hampton. Referencing the Academy rules for music eligibility, “a score must be created specifically for the eligible feature-length motion picture and comprise a minimum of 60% of the total music in the film.” King’s vision of the film incorporated many pre-existing tracks, and a source says the original music percentage landed between 40% to 45%.

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Andra Day stars in THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY from Paramount Pictures. Photo Credit: Takashi Seida. Photo Credit: Takashi Seida

Also ineligible for pre-existing music is “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” composed by Kris Bowers. This is the second time Bowers’ music will be omitted from the Academy Awards eligibility list — his work on best picture winner “Green Book” was disqualified in 2018. He will still contend this year for Justin Simien’s “Bad Hair” from Hulu, though the film was not submitted to the BAFTAs in any category.

“Sound of Metal,” composed by Nicolas Becker and Abraham Marder, also isn’t eligible. Stars Riz Ahmed and Paul Raci are currently leading in critics’ wins for lead and supporting actor, respectively. However, Becker could be recognized in best sound, and Marder might find love in best song for the number “Green,” which he wrote and performed. The BAFTAs don’t have a song category, but it was submitted for the Academy Awards.

In recent weeks, questions began circling regarding Pixar’s “Soul” and its composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, along with the inclusion of musician Jon Batiste, who brought the jazz elements to the film. The music has qualified for the BAFTA Awards and has been confirmed to have been entered for the Oscars, with all three musicians submitted for the category. The Academy ultimately decides who is eligible and if the music does, in fact, qualify.

Gearing up for its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Robin Wright’s directorial debut, “Land,” is angling for a late entry into this year’s Oscar race. Still, the music by Ben Sollee and Time for Three would not have been eligible for submission by Focus Features.

Vertical Entertainment’s “Miss Juneteenth” with Nicole Beharie was not submitted for the BAFTA Awards, but was submitted for the Oscars.

Other films that have not been submitted for either awards bodies include: “The Assistant” (Tamar-kali), “The Endless Trench” (Pascal Gaigne), “The Half of It” (Anton Sanko), “Happiest Season” (Amie Doherty), “Herself” (Natalie Holt), “The King of Staten Island” (Michael Andrews), “Locked Down” (John Powell), “Nomadland” (Ludovico Einaudi) and “Palm Springs” (Matthew Compton).

The BAFTAs and Oscars don’t always agree on eligibilities. Two Alejandro G. Iñárritu films, “Birdman” and “The Revenant,” were nominated at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, but were disqualified from the Academy Awards. The deadline for submitting to the music branch was Jan. 15. AMPAS doesn’t typically announce disqualifications for official submissions.

The BAFTAs longlist will then be revealed on Feb. 4, with the second round of voting opening on Feb. 19 and concluding on March 1. While the Oscars extended their eligibility period to Feb. 28, 2021, the BAFTAs went a step further to allow films that were released from Jan. 1, 2020, to April 9, 2021, to qualify.

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“Soul” (Pixar) Courtesy of Disney

There are also notable differences between the BAFTAs and Oscars regarding the number of films in the animated feature category. The BAFTAs listed 13 films for eligibility. The Academy Screening Room currently has 27 films available for consideration. The Oscars have yet to announce the official number of animated films submitted, but are expected to by month’s end. The Academy nominates five films, if over 15 features are eligible, while the BAFTAs nominate three.

Animated features eligible for the BAFTAs

  • “Away”
  • “The Croods: A New Age”
  • “Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train”
  • “Earwig And The Witch”
  • “Kill It and Leave This Town”
  • “Onward”
  • “Over the Moon”
  • “Scoob!”
  • “Soul”
  • “Trolls World Tour”
  • “Two by Two: Overboard!”
  • “The Willoughbys”
  • “Wolfwalkers”

Animated features on the Academy Screening Room

  • “Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus”
  • “Bombay Rose”
  • “Calamity”
  • “The Croods: A New Age”
  • “Demon Slayer: The Movie: Mugen Train” – also known as “Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train”
  • “Dreambuilders”
  • “Earwig and the Witch”
  • “Kill It and Leave This Town”
  • “Lupin III: The First”
  • “Mosley”
  • “My Favorite War”
  • “Nos Ili Zagoyor Ne Takikh”
  • “No. 7 Cherry Lane”
  • “On-Gaku: Our Sound”
  • “Onward”
  • “Over the Moon”
  • “Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs”
  • “Ride Your Waves”
  • “Scoob!”
  • “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Faramageddon”
  • “Soul”
  • “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run”
  • “Terra Willy”
  • “Trolls World Tour”
  • “A Whisker Away”
  • “The Willoughbys”
  • “Wolfwalkers”

After preliminary voting concludes on Feb. 5, the Academy will announce on Feb. 9 the shortlists in several categories, which will be voted on for Oscar nominations from March 5 to March 9. The shortlists include documentary feature (15), documentary short subject (10), international feature (10), makeup and hairstyling (10), original score (15), original song (15), animated short film (10), live action short film (10) and visual effects (10).

Visit THE AWARDS HUB to see the full list of contenders by category.

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