After every Oscar season, the brain trust of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sits down and determines what worked and what didn’t. Considering the drama and frustration (some might use the word “outrage”) over the viral campaign for Best Actress nominee Andrea Riseborough, it was obvious some changes would be in the works. What was more interesting is where The Academy somewhat loosed the reigns when it comes to screenings for the 2024 Oscar season.
According to an Academy release, the new rules include:
- Clarification of rules regarding private events and gatherings.
- Clarification of rules regarding general and direct communications to Academy members.
- Clarification of rules regarding public communications, including on social media.
- Clarification of rules for “For Your Consideration” screenings, Q&A sessions and panel discussions.
- Expanded language on regulation violations and penalties, including the process for reporting and reviewing a violation.
In regard to social media, The Academy reiterated that, obviously, members can post about performances, films, etc. What they cannot do is reveal their own voting preferences, decisions, and strategies, or discuss eligibility requirements. This is in response to Frances Fisher, who used her Instagram to instruct fellow Acting branch members on how to rank their votes in order to help Riseborough get a nomination. It will be intriguing to see if members back off from social media support after the Riseborough controversy or feel empowered to be more vocal about what they like.
It’s in the realm of private screenings, which also boosted Riseborough’s campaign, where the Academy has surprisingly loosened the reigns. Moving forward, members are allowed to host as many private screenings as they would like, but they cannot be funded by any distributor or company associated with the film. So, if you’ve got money, and want to support your friend’s campaign, you can have as many parties and screenings as you’d like. They just cannot be official FYC events or funded by Netflix, Warner Bros, Disney, etc. I’m sure no one will find a way to skirt around that requirement.
There were two additional rule changes to take note of.
Moving forward, the International Feature Film category rules now stipulate that selection committees must be comprised of at least 50% filmmakers (artists and/or craftspeople). This rule is in regard to each nation’s selection committee. That means the Board of Governors was clearly concerned that too many government bureaucrats or political appointees were influencing the selections. Whether AMPAS will actually reject a submission from a nation that won’t comply is something to watch.
In the Live Action Short Film category, voting privileges will be extended to all Academy members who opt-in to participate. That’s also another sign The Academy was not necessarily satisfied with some of the selections in the past few years.
Additionally, the Board of Governors also approved rule changes for the 96th Oscars, including establishing two submission deadlines for General Entry categories. A feature film must have a qualifying theatrical release date between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023. Submission deadlines are September 15, 2023 (for films released January 1 to June 30) and November 15, 2023 (for films released July 1 to December 31). Several other film categories will also have two submission deadlines based on the date of qualification.
What wasn’t announced today and may be shelved for the 2024 season was a rumored 50 market requirement for theatrical releases before the end of the calendar year. Currently, in order to qualify for a Best Picture nomination and most categories, a film just needs a one-week qualifying run in the greater Los Angeles area. It had been reported that AMPAS CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang were pushing for the change in the hopes that requiring films to go close to wider release before nominations would mean more potential telecast viewers would see them and increase interest in the Oscars itself. Whether that requirement is still up for discussion or tabled for next year is unclear at this time.
AMPAS also provided an updated calendar of the following key dates:
Tuesday, August 15, 2023: First submission deadline for Animated Short Film, Documentary Feature Film, Documentary Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories
Friday, September 15, 2023: First submission deadline for Animated Feature Film and General Entry categories
Monday, October 2, 2023: Final submission deadline for Documentary Feature Film and International Feature Film categories
Monday, October 16, 2023: Final submission deadline for Animated Short Film, Documentary Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories
Wednesday, November 1, 2023: Final submission deadline for Music (Original Score) and Music (Original Song) categories
Wednesday, November 15, 2023: Final submission deadline for Animated Feature Film and General Entry categories
Saturday, January 13, 2024: Visual Effects nominating screening (bake-off)
Sunday, January 14, 2024: Makeup and Hairstyling nominating screening and Sound nominating screening (bake-offs)
Source : The Playlist