The Academy’s Board of Governors has streamlined its rules for the 91st Academy Awards, which are set for February 24.
For the first time, studios, distributors and filmmakers will be required to use an Academy-approved mailing house to send sanctioned awards materials for eligible films to Academy members. Each approved mailing house will be provided with an official list of Academy members who have opted-in along with their contact information to facilitate both physical and digital mailings.
In addition, the number of post-nominations screenings with a filmmaker Q&A is now limited to a maximum of four regardless of category or country in which the event takes place. This rule eliminates the two additional screenings currently allowed for Documentary and Foreign Language Film nominees.
The number of eligible producers has been expanded in the animated and documentary feature categories to match those who get included in the Best Picture category.
There is also a change in submission deadlines. October 1 will be the submissions deadline for the Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Foreign Language Film, Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories.
The deadline for Best Picture and other major category submissions is 5 PM PT Thursday, November 15.
In the Music categories, all members of the Music Branch will view films eligible for Original Score and film clips of eligible Original Songs and vote in a preliminary round to produce a shortlist of 15 titles in each category using the preferential voting system. Five nominees for Original Score and five nominees for Original Song will then be chosen by branch members in a second round of balloting also using preferential voting.
In the Documentary Feature category, films that have won a qualifying award at a competitive film festival will be eligible for Academy Awards consideration regardless of any prior public exhibition or distribution by nontheatrical means. The Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival List will be available later this spring. Furthermore, the critic review eligibility requirement has been expanded to include additional New York- and Los Angeles-based publications.
In a procedural change, members of the Visual Effects Branch Nominating Committee now will be able to stream bake-off reels from the shortlisted films or attend satellite bake-off screenings and vote online. Previously, committee members were only able to vote in person at the Academy’s Visual Effects Bake-off in Los Angeles.