Docs

Academy Awards alter eligibility requirements for doc category

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed its new rules for eligibility for the 93rd Academy Awards to account for cancelled festivals and theatrical runs due to the ongoing ...
May 15, 2020

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed its new rules for eligibility for the 93rd Academy Awards to account for cancelled festivals and theatrical runs due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With the revisions, qualifying documentary films, both in the feature and short subject categories, that originally had a planned theatrical release but adapted to closed theaters by releasing through commercial streaming, VOD or other broadcast can be considered, if the film was made available on the Academy Screening Room member site within 60 days of the release.

This is the first time that a documentary feature film will not be required to have a theatrical run to be eligible.

The special rules for the documentary feature and documentary short subject category also include selection by one of the qualifying film festivals, even if they had been canceled or switched to a digital festival. Those impacted festivals include South by Southwest, CPH:DOX, Full Frame, Hot Docs, San Francisco and Tribeca Film Festivals, and the films must be released online through the festival’s online platform.

Previous years saw films considered for eligibility if they’d won certain awards from a qualifying festival.

In addition, commercial venues in U.S. cities like Chicago, the Bay Area, Miami and Atlanta, will count as qualifying theatres once restrictions on large gatherings have been lifted. A week-long run will be considered in these cities, which marks an expansion beyond the New York City and LA County runs.

These new requirements are for the 93rd Awards season only.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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