The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has tweaked its
foreign-language picture rules and made changes to its original song

The first stage in the two-step process to determine the foreign
language entries for the 81st Annual Academy Awards has been amended so the Phase I Committee, open to any voting member who views a minimum number of the eligible films, will now vote to determine only six of the nine films that will ultimately go to the Phase II committee.

The other three titles will be determined by those members of the
20-member Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee who have qualified to vote in the category.

The executive committee's selections will be made after the Phase I voting has been tallied.

The original song rules have been modified so that to limit the number
of nominees from each film to two. However there continues to be no
limit on the number of songs from a given film that can be submitted
for consideration.

DVDs of the annual screening event at which members of the Music
Branch view clips featuring the eligible songs will be made available
to branch members who are unable to attend the screening. Ballots will
accompany the DVDs and must be returned by mail.

Music Branch members who have one or more songs in contention for
nominations do not vote in that phase of the balloting. They remain
eligible to vote on the final ballot to select the winner.

The nominations will be announced on January 22 2009 and the ceremony is scheduled for February 22 2009.