In a significant tweak to rules governing how the Academy chooses its international feature film Oscar nominees, all members will now be able to opt in to the voting process by streaming the shortlisted films.
The Academy notified members of the change on Thursday afternoon (31). Until now, Phase 2 rules dictated that members in Los Angeles, New York and London were invited to determine the five nominees by watching the shortlisted films in theatres in their cities over a three-day period.
As of two years ago, international members were also invited to opt in to the voting process by streaming the shortlisted films.
Now the Academy has widened the net even further, opening up the Phase 2 streaming option to all members, regardless of where they live and work. Academy voters in Los Angeles, New York and London can still elect to watch the films in theatres over the three days should they choose to do so.
The Phase 1 process to select the shortlist – expanded from nine to 10 this year – is underway. Academy members must prove they have watched at least 15 submissions in a theatre. They select seven films in a secret vote, and the international feature film executive committee co-chaired by Larry Karaszewski and Diane Weyermann adds three more. The shortlist will be unveiled on December 16.
This year there are a record 93 submissions, including first-time entries from Ghana, Nigeria, and Uzbekistan.