TV Docus Skirt Oscars Rules
Nov. 17, 2016-Documentaries originated by TV outlets qualify for Oscar consideration because of token theatrical books, such as sports-oriented O.J.: Made in America that is part of cabler ESPN’s 30 for 30 TV series.
“So is O.J. a film documentary or a TV documentary?” writes Hollywood Reporter journalist Scott Feinberg. “According to the current rules of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
TV outlets are big funders of documentaries, which finagle Oscar qualifying
Sciences, it is indeed a film, eligible for the documentary feature Oscar simply because it had … New York and L.A. screenings before being shown on TV or online. In the eyes of some in the documentary community, calling O.J. a film is a stretch. It was financed by a TV network, made by a person who has worked exclusively in TV…, was tailored for TV (five 90-minute installments) and overwhelmingly has been seen on the small screen.”
Says the third edition of book Marketing To Moviegoers: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences that confers Oscars “has revamped eligibility rules to try to fence out documentary programming actually made for TV and other non-cinema outlets. Rules prohibit ‘episodes extracted from a larger theme series’ and ‘alternate versions of ineligible works.’”
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