Film academy rules ineligible documentary series like 'OJ'

Other new rules this year included Academy members no longer being allowed to attend any lunches or dinners for a film contending for Oscars that does not include a screening. As always, final determination of eligible credits will be made by the Academy's Producers Branch Executive Committee.

The AMPAS board also announced Friday that for the first time, nominations voting in the animated feature film category will be opened up to the entire eligible voting membership. That's because it appears to have been inspired by the fact that independently made and/or distributed animated films - including nine over the last eight years from the aforementioned New York-based company - have landed best animated feature nominations that were coveted by the backers of big studio films which cost much more to make and were seen by far greater numbers of people.

However, a new rule announced by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will make future multi-part docs ineligible for the Oscars. The docu qualified because it premied at the Sundance Film Festival and later in qualifying limited theatrical runs in which all seven-plus hours were presented as a single feature. If the score wins the Original Score award, the group would receive a single statuette.

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Rules are reviewed annually by individual branch and category committees. Today, the Academy announced that it's also altering some bylaws that will have a potentially hefty impact on next year's animation and documentary nominations. But the rules do not prohibit reasonable food or beverages being served at screening venues or adjacent locations.

The 90th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

The same can not be said for the highest-profile doc of 2017 so far, Netflix's Five Came Back, which likely will become the first victim of this new rule should its backers still choose to formally submit it for Oscar consideration.

  • Stacy Houston