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Academy Announces Rules for Best Animated Feature Oscar Eligibility

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has approved the final rules for the new Best Animated Feature Film award. According to an Academy Board press release, the new category will be governed as follows:

Rules for the new Best Animated Feature Film Award define an animated feature film as "a motion picture of at least 70 minutes in running time where a significant number of the major characters in the film are animated, and animation figures in no less than 75% of the picture's running time." A recommendation on whether or not to activate the category in a given year will be made by the executive committee of the Short Films and Feature Animation branch, which will review all of the animated feature films released in Los Angeles County during the year to determine their eligibility. If eight or more are found to be eligible, the committee may choose to recommend to the Board of Governors that there be an animated feature award given for that year. If the governors accept the committee's recommendation, the nomination process will be set in motion. A screening committee will be recruited from among Los Angeles-area members from all branches. Committee members will be required to see all of the eligible films and will vote to determine the nominated films in the category. All Academy voting members will be eligible to vote to select the film that will receive the Oscar. The Oscar for the new category will be presented to "the key creative talent most clearly responsible for the overall achievement," normally a single individual, on behalf of the entire production. In no case will more than two statuettes be presented. The Short Films and Feature Animation branch will have the right to resolve all questions of eligibility, rules interpretation and the designation of award recipients. As with all awards, the Board of Governors will make the final determination if an award is to be presented in the category in any given year. Films submitted in the Best Animated Feature category may qualify for Academy Awards in other areas, including Best Picture, provided they meet the rules criteria governing those categories. The official 74th Annual Academy Award Rules booklet will be ready for distribution to Academy members during the first week of August.

In addition, the Academy tightened its rules governing who is actually eligible to accept an Oscar. Many people in the industry are having clauses put into contracts that if a film receives an Oscar nomination, he or she has to be included among the nominees. In a ruling that applies to all awards, the governors stated that, "The Academy shall not be bound by any contract or agreement relating to the sharing or giving of credit and reserves the right to make its own determination of credit for purposes of award consideration." Another change in the 2001 rules further restricts who can be named as a nominee or accept a statuette for Best Picture. The governors added a sentence stating that, "Studio executives and personal managers with producer credit are likewise ineligible for Best Picture nominations and statuettes unless they have fully functioned as producers on the picture." The 2001 Academy Award nominations will be announced at 5:30 am on Tuesday, February 12, 2002. The 74th Annual Academy Awards Presentation will be telecast live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, March 24, 2002.