Film academy rules ineligible documentary series like 'OJ'

Courtesy of ESPN Films                     'O.J. Made in America
Courtesy of ESPN Films 'O.J. Made in America
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08 April, 2017

It ran in its entirety at film festivals and in a brief theatrical run, though most saw it in a five-part series on ESPN.

The film, an exploration into the 1995 murder trial of former USA football star O.J. Simpson, won the best documentary Oscar in February over "13th", "I Am Not Your Negro", "Fire at Sea" and "Life, Animated".

In another rule change announced Friday, nomination voting in the animated feature category will be opened to the entire eligible voting membership of the Academy, and voting in the nominations round for the category "will now be preferential instead of based on a numerical scoring system".

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced several eligibility changes in certain categories, including Best Animated Feature and Best Documentary Feature.

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Annually, the individual branches and category committees review the rules.

The Academy also slightly altered its rules for Best Picture, allowing more producers to be nominated for the award, and allowing film score composers to submit themselves as a group. (Sources tell me the number was roughly 150, at best, which is a remarkably small representation for an organization that has numbered well over 5,000 for many years.) Committee service required attendance at Linwood Dunn Theatre screenings of roughly two-thirds of all eligible animated features; attendance was carefully monitored, and nobody who came up short received a nomination ballot at the end of the process. The Awards Rules Committee then reviews all proposed changes before presenting its recommendations to the Board of Governors for approval. Today, the Academy announced that it's also altering some bylaws that will have a potentially hefty impact on next year's animation and documentary nominations.

Prior to nominations, Academy members may not be invited to or attend any lunch, dinner or other catered affair that promotes an eligible film for awards consideration that is not associated with a screening.

The 90th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby TheatreĀ® at Hollywood & Highland CenterĀ® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.


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