Rules governing how a two-person producing team can be considered a single producer when considering who is eligible for best picture nomination have changed.

According to new rules announced by the Academy board on Friday (27) this may occur where the producers can demonstrate an established producing partnership for at least the previous five years and have produced as a team at least two previous theatrically released feature films.

The change relaxes the previous rule that stipulated the team must have produced a minimum of five theatrically released feature films.

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has amended acting category rules so that studios and production companies submitting actors for Oscar consideration must limit eligibility to a maximum of 10 actors and 10 actresses for each film.

The actors must submit the names on the Official Screen Credits (OSC) form. The Academy’s annual reminder list of eligible releases will now list actors and actresses separately for each film. 

Actors branch voters can still determine whether a performance should be considered under the leading role or supporting role category on their nominations ballots.

In other changes:

DVD screeners are now required as part of an animated feature submission;

Documentary feature contenders must now screen a minimum of four times daily during their qualifying theatrical releases in both New York and Los Angeles.

The screenings must begin between noon and 10pm and at least one screening a day must begin between 6pm and 10pm;

Songwriters from established musical groups may now have the option to request that their song submission in the music (original song) category be considered under their group name.

If the request is approved and the song wins the original song award, the group would receive a single statuette;

In the production design category the branch now has greater flexibility in recognising the achievements of the principal artists responsible in creating the environment for the story;

When the environment of a film is substantially composed of animation and digital artistry, a digital artist who is primarily responsible for the achievement may now be considered for the production design award.

Previously, only so-called production designers, art directors and set decorators were named as eligible for awards recognition;

Animated short film and live-action short film contenders that have received prior non-theatrical public exhibition or distribution may now qualify for Oscar consideration if they win a festival or award on the short films qualifying festival list

Without a festival win, the non-theatrical distribution prior to a theatrical release would still disqualify a short film’s eligibility; and

For the first time, the gold, silver and bronze medal-winning films in the alternative, animation, narrative and foreign film categories at the 2014 Student Academy Awards all qualify for Oscar consideration in the short film categories.  

Similarly, the gold, silver and bronze winners in the documentary category at the 2014 Student Academy Awards will be eligible for consideration in the documentary short subject category.

Other adjustments to the rules include standard date changes and other housekeeping adjustments.

For the complete rules for the 87th Academy Awards, click here.

Individual branch and category committees review Academy rules annually  The awards rules committee then reviews all proposed changes before presenting its recommendations to the Academy’s board of governors for approval.

The Academy has launched its awards submissions platform for entering information required for Academy Awards consideration. This replaces the Academy’s previous submissions site for feature films, and now includes the ability to submit online for the animated feature film category. 

Submitting individuals are encouraged to register now.

The deadline for submitting OSC forms for the 87th Academy Awards is 5pm PT on December 3.

The 87th Academy Awards will take place on February 22 2015 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.