Academy Opens Foriegn Film Oscar Vote

   May 5, 2013-The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences opened up voting for winners in the foreign film and four other categories to all members for the first time, which means victors in all 24 Oscar categories will be chosen at large for the first time.
   “Prior to the final round of voting, the Academy will provide members with DVDs of the nominated films in five categories: Foreign Language Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Animated Short Film, and Live Action Short Film,” says an academy press release. “In previous years, members had been required to see the nominated films in a theater in order to vote.”
     It’s assumed members will watch DVDs to make informed choices. Previously, only academy voters who could verify they saw all nominees in these categories in cinemas could vote for the winner.
   There’s always hot competition for Best Foreign Picture, so the voting process change will impact awards marketing efforts by allowing DVD screeners to suffice for viewing. Hollywood consultants are hired by distributors, producers and others associated with potential nominees for best foreign to lobby academy voters—which number nearly 6,000—and other end-year awards that influence the Oscars.
   It is believed Oscar voters see most, if not all, of the top domestic Hollywood films vying for consideration as part of their normal routine, but not so for foreign, short and documentary films—which typically are not conveniently playing at local cinemas.
 The voting process change came out of town-hall meetings at three sites of academy members, where it was revealed for the first time that 90% of eligible members cast votes to select Oscar winners.
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