New Oscar Rules For this Year’s Season

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has incorporated some new rules in several Oscar categories this year, including visual effects, music, makeup and foreign-language film.  The changes in the 85th Academy Awards will not affect any voting procedures, as it did when the Academy allowed the best picture category to include anywhere from five to 10 nominees. In the case of visual effects, the new standards guarantee that nominees will be chosen from a pool of 10 films selected by the visual effect branch’s executive committee. Before this year, the committee could put forward from seven to 10 films The award given in the makeup category will now include hairstyling, and will be known as the Makeup and Hairstyling Award. In addition, during the nomination process, all branch members who have seen the seven shortlisted titles will receive ballots to list their top three choices. In the music department, the new rules will affect how a best original song is selected. The executive committee can now recommend a fourth songwriter for an individual song “in rare and extraordinary circumstances.” In the past, up to two songwriters could be eligible per song, although a third could be added if the committee felt they were an equal contributor.  And finally, in the foreign-language category, movies must be submitted to the Academy in a 35mm or DCP format but are no longer recquired to be exhibited in these styles in their countries of origin. These new rules were approved by the board of governors this week. The Academy Awards are set to air on February 24 at the Dolly Theatre in Hollywood and Highland.