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Academy changes eligibility rules for docs

The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences Board of Governors has approved a change to the documentary category in the Academy Awards that deems multi-part or limited series not eligible ...
April 7, 2017

The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences Board of Governors has approved a change to the documentary category in the Academy Awards that deems multi-part or limited series not eligible for awards consideration.

Under these new rules, the 2017 Academy Award winning Best Documentary Feature,  O.J.: Made in America from director Ezra Edelman, likely would not qualify for the documentary category.

Made in America was eligible because it was first released theatrically, in its entirety, at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016. It was then released in select theaters in Los Angeles and New York, before premiering as a five-part miniseries on ABC and continuing on to ESPN.

The previous rule stated that entries had to be a single feature, with a theatrical release, and excluded doc episodes from a larger series and segments taken from a single “composite” program.

The new addition to the ineligibility of multi-part or limited series will come into effect for the 90th Academy Awards.

The changes were approved March 28, as a broad set of tweaks to the Oscar rules and campaign regulations.

Annually, the individual branches and category committees review the rules. The Awards Rules Committee then reviews all proposed changes before presenting its recommendations to the Board of Governors for approval.

Image by Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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