No more streaming debut just for Oscar nominees

(AP) – The Oscars are back to normal, in terms of eligibility. After two years of pandemic-related adjustments, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Wednesday that Oscar nominees will once again have to launch their films in theaters.

Eligible films are allowed to be shown “day and date” in theaters and on a streaming service, but their theatrical run must last at least seven consecutive days with at least one screening per day in one of the six major metropolitan areas approved. Locations are still Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

The rules and changes for the 95th Academy Awards in 2023 were approved by the organization’s Board of Governors at its last meeting, where they determined that the eligibility window would revert to the standard calendar year. The council also said that individual films could submit no more than three songs for the Best Original Song award.

The organization also distributed updated guidelines for awards campaigns to “maintain a high degree of fairness and transparency” in how film companies and individuals promote award-eligible films. These guidelines focus on promotions, screenings, member contact and hospitality.

One rule states that “no promotional materials, or anything of value, may be given to members at screenings or otherwise.” Another clarified that prior to nominations, no promotional materials or anything of value may be given to members at screenings or otherwise” and after nominations until polls close, “screenings may not include any reception, entertainment, free food and drink, or other hospitality.”

It also limits the number of emails members can receive about a specific movie per week and states that Music Leg members cannot contact other Music Leg members directly to promote the nomination of a song or a score. Members of the Music Branch also must not attend screenings or events with live performances of eligible music.

The academy reiterated that members should make decisions “based solely on the artistic and technical merits of eligible films and achievements.” Consequences for violating the guidelines include disqualification and possible suspension or expulsion from the academy.

The 95th Academy Awards will take place in Los Angeles on March 12.

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