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Oscar Rules For Docs Magnified With Waltz

WALTZ WITH BASHIR, an animated, foreign documentary, will not be considered in the Best Documentary category at the Academy Awards this year, and it's due to a controversial change in the rules, per THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

New this year, a documentary feature must have had a one-week qualifying run in New York by August 31. Previously, a doc had to be screened for one week in either Los Angeles or New York, while also playing 14 three-day bookings in at least 10 states. The Academy wants to encourage theatrical distribution, but the rules change is causing grumblings.

"I can't understand why the Academy is making it even more difficult for documentaries by saying you need some kind of shadow release," New York Film Festival topper Richard Pena said. "I don't see how this policy helps the greater good of cinema."

To qualify the movie for Academy consideration, distributor Sony Pictures Classics would have had to open it in New York months ahead of its planned Dec. 25 release. Major reviewers would have descended on the film, and SPC wouldn't have had any hopes that the film would be selected by the New York Film Festival.

Choosing the festival, SPC lost out on the possibility that WALTZ would be the first ever film to qualify in best foreign language, animated and documentary categories.

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