The Oscars just changed their rules, and here’s what it means for two major categories

The movie business moves fast, and this time it could affect your favorite animated films! It was announced Friday that the Academy is changing its rules for the Oscars, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held their annual rule evaluating meeting recently, and board members proposed changes to two major Oscars categories: documentaries and animation.

Don’t worry, the dresses will still be pretty. But here are the important changes:

For the documentary category, “The O.J. Rule,” will cut the amount of submissions. Inspired by Best Documentary Feature winner, O.J.: Made in America, committee members didn’t believe it should’ve been considered for a nomination (even though it was awesome.)

The five-part, 7.5-hour project seemed to be more like a docu-series than an actual feature film. And by recognizing it as such, the Academy feared the pool of docu-series submissions would overflow. As a result, “multi-part or limited series” are no longer “eligible for awards consideration.”

This new rule will negatively impact those looking to have their docu-series in the Oscars running. But, on the flip side, the new animation rule might have a positive spin for its contenders.

“The GKIDS Rule” is opening up the process for selecting animation nominees to more Academy members than it previously had. Committee members have been required to screen potential nominated films at the Linwood Dunn Theater. And because of this, the committee mainly comprised of older or retired members. The Academy believed that the committee demographic routinely favored more traditionally animated films. And newer forms of animated films caught the short end of the stick.

The Academy is taking the BAFTA approach, and allowing committee members to screen films on their website or by watching DVDs at home. The academy would just have to trust that committee members actually view the films before filling out their ballots. The new rule could give a leg up to smaller, indy animated films (though we’re not giving up our love for Pixar any time soon.)

Both are big changes. But, we’re totally behind anything that would make the playing field fair for Oscars’ contenders. Here’s to hoping that many filmmakers feel the same way. We don’t need another Oscar scandal on our hands!

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