The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has amended its rules to allow its entire voting membership to vote for the documentary shorts category.
Previously, AMPAS only allowed the documentary branch to vote. The new rule also applies to foreign language films.
In addition, members will be able to see the nominated documentary shorts and foreign language films at either a theatrical screening or on DVD, a change from past years where members had to see the nominated films in a theater in order to vote.
The news follows the previously reported rule change for documentary shorts, which enabled shorts to qualify for the Academy Awards if they won a top prize at one of 24 major film festivals, including Sundance, SXSW, Hot Docs and IDFA.
“This change continues our efforts to expand our members’ participation in all aspects of the Academy’s activities including, of course, voting for the Oscars,” said Academy president Hawk Koch. “Building on this past season’s 90% record voter turnout, we want to give our members as many opportunities as possible to see these great films and vote in these categories next year.”