Film Academy makes rule changes to Best Picture, Original Song and other categories

By Daniel S Levine,

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has had a busy week. A day after inviting 271 members of the movie community to join, AMPAS announced several key rule changes that will interest Oscar geeks.

Up first is a big change to the Acting category submissions. From now on, when studios submit their official screen credits, they can only name 10 actors and 10 actresses max. AMPAS will also leave it up to the actors branch voters to decide if a performance qualifies in the lead or supporting categories.

The Documentary Feature category got an intriguing rule change, that may actually work in favor of anyone interested in nonfiction film - at least those who live in New York and Los Angeles. From now on, a documentary will have to be screened at least four times a day during their NY and LA runs. The rule gets very specific, too. The screenings must be between noon and 10 p.m., with at least one starting between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

For the Original Song category, bands can now submit themselves under their band name, rather than as individual members. If they get approval from AMPAS and win the Oscar, it means that they will have to share one statue.

The last major rule change affects the Best Picture category. A two-person producing team can apply to be considered a single “producer,” if they have a long relationship working together that includes at least two films and has lasted at least five years.

All rule changes are approved by the Academy’s Board of Governors after the Rules Committee goes over the proposals.

In other AMPAS business, they invited 271 actors, directors, writers and more to join the Academy on Thursday. On Wednesday, they changed campaigning rules in the music branch.

image of AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs courtesy of INFphoto.com

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