Academy Updates Rules and Campaign Protocols For 2025 Oscars

Academy Updates Rules and Campaign Protocols For 2025 Oscars

The Academy’s Board of Governors has released the new official awards rules and campaign promotional regulations that it will implement for the 97th Oscars, IndieWire is reporting. The biggest change is the expansion of the theatrical requirements for the Best Picture category for the movie industry’s most prestigious awards ceremony, which will be held on March 2, 2025.

Other new rules and regulations include animated feature films being able to submit for Best International Feature Film and Best Animated Feature Film, if eligibility requirements outlined for both categories are met. This change is meant to help animated international films that may not have access to U.S. distribution.

Animated movies selected as a country’s international feature selection will no longer need to meet general entry standards to be considered for the Animated Feature award. They would, however, still need to be ruled eligible under The Academy‘s definition of animation.

The Best Original Score category has also been updated. It will now allow three composers to receive individual statuettes if they all contributed fully to the score. Also, the screenplay categories has also been changed, as it now require a final shooting script to be part of submissions.

There will also be several name changes and/or clarifications for some of the awards categories The Academy presents at the separate Governors Awards and Scientific and Technical Awards ceremonies.

Similarly, The Academy has also updated and clarified formatting and language in the campaign promotional regulations for the next Oscar ceremony. The decision comes after director Michael Morris’ drama, To Leslie, received backlash last year in relation to the way it campaigned for its nominated star, Andrea Riseborough, in the Best Actress category.

The campaign promotional regulations now specify how motion picture companies and individuals directly associated with Oscars-eligible movies may promote the projects, achievements, and performances to Academy members. The changes in the rules also dictate how Academy members may promote Oscars-eligible films, achievements and performances.

The Academy has also implemented theatrical requirement changes for films that are seeking nominations. One of the biggest changes is that drive-in theaters will no longer be a means of qualification. Drive-in theaters were added to the qualification list during the peak of COVID-19, and is one of the last adaptations to be removed from the pandemic.

Now, in order for a feature film to be considered for Academy Awards, the project must have a qualifying theatrical release between January 1 and December 31 of this year. The Dallas/Fort Worth area has been added to the list of qualifying U.S. cities a movie can open in for a one-week run in theaters. The other cities are Los Angeles County, the City of New York, the Bay Area; Chicago, Miami and Atlanta.

After its one-week initial qualifying run in at least one of the listed cities, a movie now also has to meet the following additional theatrical standards to be eligible to receive a Best Picture nomination: expanded theatrical run of seven days, consecutive or nonconsecutive, in 10 of the top 50 U.S. markets, no later than 45 days after the initial release in 2024; for late-in-the-year films with expansions after January 10, 2025, distributors must submit release plans to the Academy for verification; release plans for late-in-the-year movies must include a planned expanded theatrical run to be completed no later than January 24, 2025; non-U.S. territory releases can count towards two of the 10 markets; and qualifying non-U.S. markets include the top 15 international theatrical markets plus the home territory for the film.

These new changes pose a that lower-budget and independent films from smaller distributors may not be able to secure a Best Picture nomination, let alone win. To Leslie, for example, was only released in six theaters by Momentum Pictures after it had its World Premiere at SXSW in 2022.

The news of rule and regulation changes also requires that movies must also submit a RAISE form to prove it has met at least two out of four of The Academy’s inclusion standards in order to be eligible for Best Picture. Distributors and/or producing teams should submit for PGA Mark Certification or awards determination as well no later than the date of the film’s first commercial screening in its qualifying run.

See the latest submission deadlines and additional key dates for the 97th Academy Awards below:

Thursday, August 15, 2024: First submission deadline for Animated Short Film, Documentary Feature Film, Documentary Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories.

Thursday, September 12, 2024: First submission deadline for General Entry categories, Animated Feature Film, Best Picture and RAISE form.

Wednesday, October 2, 2024: Submission deadline for International Feature Film.

Thursday, October 10, 2024: Final submission deadline for Animated Short Film, Documentary Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories.

Thursday, October 17, 2024: Final submission deadline for Documentary Feature Film.

Friday, November 1, 2024: Submission deadline for Music (Original Score) and Music (Original Song) categories.

Thursday, November 14, 2024: Final submission deadline for General Entry categories, Animated Feature Film, Best Picture and RAISE form.

Saturday, January 11, 2025: Makeup and Hairstyling, Sound and Visual Effects nominating screenings (bake-offs).

The full list of rules and regulations for the 97th Academy Awards may be found o The Academy’s official website.

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