The Academy opens nominations for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature to be chosen not by just L.A.-based volunteers able and willing to attend Sunday screenings, but by a much larger group thanks to newly-granted permission to view them on screeners.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will soon announce changes to the way it picks its best animated feature and shorts nominees for the Oscars, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter.
Nominees in those categories historically have been chosen by the Animated Feature Film Award Screening Committee. Half have been members of the Short Films and Animated Feature branch and half have been members of one the Academy's other branches, but all have had to be not only unaffiliated with any of the movies in contention, but also available to attend L.A. screenings of the eligible films over several Sundays starting in November.
The new rule change will enable Academy members who are based outside of the L.A. area to serve on the Screening Committee as well by permitting them to weigh the eligible films by watching them on DVD or Blu-Ray screeners, as opposed to having to attend the official screenings. This decision is consistent with other recent Academy efforts to find ways to include more members in more voting decisions.
The Short Films and Feature Animation committee has roughly 400 members and is currently chaired by Jon Bloom, who also serves as one of its representatives on the Board of Governors, along with Disney-Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter and Bill Kroyer. Unlike other branches, this committee does not determine nominees because of fears that members will vote in blocs on behalf of their respective studios, as has occurred in the past.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.