The Academy’s board has approved a fixed number of 10 best picture Oscar nominee slots starting this upcoming 94th Academy Awards season.
The measure was originally announced in June 2020. Confirming other previously announced eligibility rules, it also emerged on Wednesday (June 30) that there will be a return to the standard eligibility period. Feature contenders must have a qualifying release date between March 1 and December 31, 2021.
As previously announced, due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic on exhibition, distributors will be allowed to set qualifying runs in cinemas, drive-ins, or on streaming platforms.
In the International Feature Film category, key rule amendments made in the preliminary round of voting for the 93rd Awards and approved in January 2021 remain unchanged.
They include an expanded shortlist of 15 films with members from all Academy branches being invited to opt in and participate in the preliminary and nominations rounds of voting. Members must meet a minimum viewing requirement to be eligible to vote in the category. The submission deadline is November 1, 2021
Campaign regulations have also been updated. Mailing of DVD’s, CD’s and physical screenplays are being discontinued starting this year. Access to the Academy Screening Room will continue to be made available for all eligible releases, and digital links to materials will be permitted.
The board approved other rules changes for the 94th Awards including:
Sound category: there will be a preliminary round of voting to determine a shortlist of 10 films. Prior to nominations voting, sound branch members will be invited to a presentation of the shortlisted achievements, similar to the process in the visual effects and makeup & hairstyling categories. The entire sound branch will vote to select the shortlist as well as nominations.
Music (Original Score) category: eligible scores must comprise a minimum of 35% of the total music in the film, reduced from 60%.
Music (Original Song) category: no more than five songs from any one film may be submitted.
Documentary Short Subject, Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories: the shortlist will expand from 10 to 15 films.
Submission deadlines are as follows:
Documentary Short Subject – October 15, 2021
Animated Short Film – October 15, 2021
Live Action Short Film – October 15, 2021
Animated Feature Film – November 1, 2021
Documentary Feature – November 1, 2021
International Feature Film – November 1, 2021
Original Score – November 1, 2021
Original Song – November 1, 2021
General Entry categories – November 15, 2021
The 94th Academy Awards are set to take place in Hollywood on March 27, 2022. Following this year, the Academy intends to expand qualifying requirements for the 95th Awards.