The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the tweaking of rules for four Academy Awards categories. The rules affect the eligibility for films in four categories – Best Visual Effects, Original Song, Makeup and Foriegn Language film. The changes were approved earlier this week by the Academy’s Board of Governors and will take effect for the 85th Academy Awards scheduled for February 24.
Starting with next year’s Oscars, the final nominees for the Best Visual Effects category will be chosen from a shortlist of ten films where as previously the shortlist could consist of anywhere between seven and ten films.
The Academy has modified the rules of the Best Original Song category to allow a fourth songwriter for an individual song “in rare and extraordinary circumstances.” The last time the eligibility rules for this category were modified was in 2005 when it allowed two writers per song to be eligible with the possibility of a third under extraordinary conditions.
The Makeup Category is being expanded to include hairstyling as well and will be known as, appropriate enough, the Makeup and Hairstyling Category.
And while entrants for the Best Foreign Language Film must continue to be submitted to the Academy in either 35mm or DCP formats, they do not necessarily have to have been exhibited in either of those formats in their home country.
Interestingly, the Academy did not make any changes in the way that eligible songs receiving nomination into the Best Original Song category. Last year’s Academy Awards generated some controversy when only two songs received the required voting score to compete for the Oscar statue. The Academy stated that it would examine the rules to see if a change was necessary. Unfortunately, it appears as if they have decided to keep the status quo.