Oscar Rules Tweaked for Docus, Awards Campaigning

By Robert Marich
   April 7, 2017-The reigning best-documentary Oscar winner would no longer be eligible going forward under a raft of changes in annual rules revisions issued today by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. In other revisions, AMPAS tweaked numerous rules governing campaigning for awards and also some awards procedures, such as allowing the entire membership of AMPAS to nominate animated feature films, not just the animation-craft section as in the past.
   The rules changes amount to 10 pages and can be seen in a link below.
   Regarding documentaries, the five-part O.J.: Made in America sports-oriented program from the ESPN cable network qualified in a theatrical run and won the documentary Oscar. New rules
The theatrical poster for OJ: Made In America stresses awards; the TV version played off the famous 'bloody glove'

state that “multipart or limited series are not eligible for awards consideration,” which make it tougher for TV-made documentaries to qualify.
   As the third edition of book Marketing To Moviegoers observes, this is an ongoing battle because TV outlets are always looking for an Oscar glow. “AMPAS has revamped eligibility rules to try to fence out documentary programming actually made for TV and other non-cinema outlets,” says the book.
   As for campaigning, a AMPAS press release stated that “Prior to nominations, Academy members may not be invited to or attend any lunch, dinner or other catered affair that promotes an eligible film for awards consideration that is not associated with a screening.  This does not prohibit reasonable food and beverage from being provided at screening venues or at an adjacent location immediately before or after the screening.  This change is part of the continuing effort to address the issue of excessive campaigning and keeping the attention on the movies themselves.”  
   Other campaigning changes cover hosting Q&As, limits to what screening invitations can say, lobbying personally by telephone, and sending out DVD screeners or music CDs.
For full text, click links below; this website’s text is searchable via search boxes on upper right of webpages: