With only a few wide-release movies scheduled to come out between now and August, not to mention all the indies that are going straight to VOD, it was obvious that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would have to shake things up for next year’s Oscars. The current rules require “that a film be shown in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County for a theatrical qualifying run of at least seven consecutive days,” but with theaters closed, possibly for months, the only movies eligible for an Oscar would be the ones that already came out. I like Jim Carrey as much as the next guy, but are we ready for Best Picture winner Sonic the Hedgehogs? Apparently not, because the Academy has announced rule changes for the 93rd Academy Awards.
“Until further notice, and for the 93rd Awards year only, films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are initially made available on a commercial streaming or VOD service may qualify in the Best Picture, general entry and specialty categories for the 93rd Academy Awards,” the Academy announced after a vote on Tuesday morning.
There are two provisions, though:
1. The film must be made available on the secure Academy Screening Room member-only streaming site within 60 days of the film’s streaming or VOD release.
2. The film must meet all other eligibility requirements.
In other words, Trolls World Tour can still win Best International Feature (not really, but they went on a WORLD tour, didn’t they?), while actual-contenders released digitally in lieu of a theatrical run, like Never Rarely Sometimes Always, are Oscar eligible. But speaking of the category formerly known as Best Foreign Language Film: for the first time, “all eligible Academy members will now be invited to participate in the preliminary round of voting,” while Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing have been combined into one category, Best Sound. You’ll still get it wrong on your ballet.
Remember when Parasite won Best Picture nine years ago? That was cool.
(Via the Academy)