The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has moved its annual awards ceremony by a month to February 29, 2004, and has devised an accelerated schedule to accommodate next year's voting process.
While eligible films in the major categories still have until December 31, 2003 to open in a qualifying run, some categories have been moved up considerably. Animated short and live-action films must qualify by September 30. Documentaries and foreign language films have earlier dates as well. The publicity machinery has less time to reach voters, many of which will be away for the holidays. Some industry people likely won't be able to attend so many kudofest in this smaller window. It remains to be seen if some reschedule or fall by the wayside as the Oscars try to take a more primary role and not be at the end of the pack.
Businesses which may feel the most impact are the advertising agencies and marketing machines, which churn out the nomination campaigns as well as the trade papers who will see a shorter window and less revenue for this traditionally heavy media buying time.
The schedule is:
August 1, 2003: Scientific and Technical Award entry deadline.
September 2, 2003: Documentary categories entry deadline.
October 1, 2003: Foreign Language Film and Short Films categories entry deadline.
November 3, 2003: Animated Feature film category entry deadline.
December 1, 2003: Deadline for receipt of official screen credit forms to qualify feature films for award consideration. Music category submission deadline.
December 31, 2003: Awards year ends at midnight.
January 2, 2004: Nominations ballots mailed.
January 17, 2004: Nominations polls close 5:00 pm PT.
January 27, 2004: Nominations announced 5:30 am PT, Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
February 4, 2004: Final ballots mailed.
February 9, 2004: Nominees Luncheon, Beverly Hilton Hotel.
February 14, 2004: Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation, 6:00 pm PT, location to be determined.
February 24, 2004: Final polls close 5:00 pm PT.
February 29, 2004: 76th Annual Academy Awards Presentation from the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland will be televised live by the ABC beginning at 5:30 pm PT, with a half-hour arrivals program preceding the presentation ceremony.