In a sign that things are getting back to some degree of normalcy, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is returning to pre-pandemic rules of eligibility and no longer will allow its digital Screening Room as a way to qualify. Instead, it said that because theaters have reopened, the six qualifying U.S. metropolitan areas continue to be Los Angeles County, the City of New York, the Bay Area, Chicago, Miami and Atlanta, and rules apply to General Entry categories as well as the Documentary and Short Film categories. Feature films must have at least a seven-day theatrical run to qualify (there are specific requirements in terms of showtimes etc but it can be done in tandem with screenings in other mediums ie streaming, VOD). Drive-ins remain eligible.
The Academy also confirmed that eligibility for the 95th annual Academy Awards officially has returned to the calendar year, thus any feature film must have a qualifying release date between January 1 and December 31, 2022. The 94th Oscars had only a 10-month eligibility between March and December 2021. The 93rd Oscars extended eligibility to 14 months between January 2020 and February 2021 due to the pandemic shutdowns of theaters and diminished film releases.
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The Board of Governors approved other minor rules changes for the 95th Awards including:
- In the Documentary categories, the two category names have been changed to:
- Documentary Feature Film
- Documentary Short Film
- In the Music (Original Song) category, no more than three songs from any one film may be submitted.
- In the Sound category, producers will be required to make their films available for viewing by Sound Branch members, particularly when the release date is after the preliminary voting cycle opens. Any special circumstances requests regarding eligible nominees must be received by the General Entry deadline of November 15, 2022. Additionally, clips for the nominating screening (bake-off) shall not exceed 10 minutes of running time per title.
Submission deadlines are as follows:
Documentary Feature Film: Monday, October 3
International Feature Film: Monday, October 3
Animated Short Film: Friday, October 14
Documentary Short Film: Friday, October 14
Live Action Short Film: Friday, October 14
Original Score: Tuesday, November 1
Original Song: Tuesday, November 1
Animated Feature Film: Tuesday, November 15
General Entry categories: Tuesday, November 15
Campaign regulations, which specify how companies and individuals may market to Academy members’ films and achievements eligible for the 95th Academy Awards, also were updated. Access to the Academy Screening Room will continue to be made available for all eligible releases. Digital links to materials will be permitted under certain circumstances. Film synopses no longer may contain credits, as film companies will now have the option to include credits on the Academy Screening Room prior to Nominations.
The 95th Oscars will be broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, March 12.
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