The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has fine-tooled its rules in several categories – including visual effects, music, makeup and foreign language film – as it heads into the 85th Academy Awards. In contrast to recent years, when the Academy first introduced a new field of ten best picture nominees, and then revised its voting procedures so that the best picture category can include anywhere from five to ten nominees, this year’s rule revisions don’t introduce any sweeping changes.
In visual effects, the new rule guarantees that nominees will be chosen from a pool of ten films chosen by the visual effects branch’s executive committee. Previously, the committee could put forward from seven to ten films.
In the music branch’s original song category, the executive committee may now recommend a fourth songwriter for an individual song “in rare and extraordinary circumstances.” That amends the rule that has been in effect since 2005, whereby up to two songwriters could be eligible per song, although a third songwriter could be added if he or she were found to be an essentially equal contributor.
The award given in the makeup category will now be known as the Makeup and Hairstyling Award. Additionally, during the nominations process, all branch members who have seen the seven shortlisted titles will receive ballots to list their top three choices.
In the foreign language film category, films must be submitted to the Academy in 35mm or DCP, but are no longer required to be exhibited in those formats in their countries of origin.
The new rules, proposed by the awards rules committee, were approved by the board of governors this week.
The 85th Academy Awards are set to take place Feb. 24 at the newly-named Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland.