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The 97th Annual Oscars Announces New Award Rules and Campaign Promotional Regulations

The Oscars Award

This morning the Academy’s Board of Governors approved awards rules and campaign promotional regulations for the 97th Academy Awards®.

For Academy Awards consideration, a feature film must have a qualifying theatrical release between January 1, 2024, and December 31, 2024. Drive-in theaters will no longer be a means of qualification, and the six qualifying U.S. metropolitan areas will now include Dallas-Fort Worth, in addition to Los Angeles County; the City of New York; the Bay Area; Chicago, Illinois; and Atlanta, Georgia.

In the Best Picture category, the expanded theatrical eligibility requirements, approved by the Board of Governors in June 2023, will take effect for the 97th Oscars®. Upon completion of an initial qualifying run, currently defined as a one-week theatrical release in one of the six U.S. qualifying cities, a film must meet the following additional theatrical standards for Best Picture eligibility:

  • Expanded theatrical run of seven days, consecutive or non-consecutive, in 10 of the top 50 U.S. markets, no later than 45 days after the initial release in 2024.

  • For late-in-the-year films with expansions after January 10, 2025, distributors must submit release plans to the Academy for verification.

  • Release plans for late-in-the-year films must include a planned expanded theatrical run, as described above, to be completed no later than January 24, 2025.

  • Non-U.S. territory releases can count towards two of the 10 markets.

  • Qualifying non-U.S. markets include the top 15 international theatrical markets plus the home territory for the film.

In addition to the theatrical eligibility requirements, eligibility for consideration in the Best Picture category remains contingent upon submission of a confidential Academy Representation and Inclusion Standards Entry (RAISE) form and the film meeting the requirements of two of the four standards. Also, distributors and/or producing teams should submit for PGA Mark Certification or awards determination no later than the date of the film’s first commercial screening in its qualifying run.

Other awards rules changes include:

  • Animated feature films submitted in the International Feature Film category are now eligible for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category if the eligibility requirements outlined for both categories are met.

  • The new eligibility period for the International Feature Film category is November 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024.

  • In the Music (Original Score) category, three composers will be allowed to receive individual statuettes if, in rare circumstances, they all contributed fully to the score. Previously, three composers were required to submit as a group. The rules now clarify the definition of a group as a recognized band. The shortlist will increase from 15 to 20 titles.

  • In the Writing categories, a final shooting script will now be required for submission. 

  • Changes were also made to the testimonial awards presented at the Governors Awards. The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, given to a creative producer whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production, will now be presented as an Oscar® statuette. The definition of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was revised to clarify the broad term humanitarian efforts; the award will be “given to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry by promoting human welfare and contributing to rectifying inequities.”

Two special awards presented at the Scientific and Technical Awards have been renamed:

  • Gordon E. Sawyer Award to “Scientific and Technical Lifetime Achievement Award”
  • John A. Bonner Award to “Scientific and Technical Service Award”

Submission deadlines and additional key dates are as follows:

Thursday, August 15, 2024: First submission deadline for Animated Short Film, Documentary Feature Film, Documentary Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories

Thursday, September 12, 2024: First submission deadline for General Entry categories, Animated Feature Film, Best Picture and RAISE form

Wednesday, October 2, 2024: Submission deadline for International Feature Film 

Thursday, October 10, 2024: Final submission deadline for Animated Short Film, Documentary Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories

Thursday, October 17, 2024: Final submission deadline for Documentary Feature Film

Friday, November 1, 2024: Submission deadline for Music (Original Score) and Music (Original Song) categories

Thursday, November 14, 2024: Final submission deadline for General Entry categories, Animated Feature Film, Best Picture and RAISE form

Saturday, January 11, 2025: Makeup and Hairstyling, Sound and Visual Effects nominating screenings (bake-offs)

The Academy also updated and clarified formatting and language in the campaign promotional regulations for the 97th Oscars. The campaign promotional regulations specify how motion picture companies and individuals directly associated with Oscar-eligible motion pictures may promote such motion pictures, achievements, and performances to Academy members and how Academy members may promote Oscar-eligible motion pictures, achievements, and performances.

All rules and dates for the 97th Academy Awards are subject to change.

For the complete 97th Academy Awards rules and campaign promotional regulations, visit oscars.org/rules

For information on the Inclusion Standards, visit raise.oscars.org/home.

Author

  • Scott Menzel

    Born and raised in New Jersey, Scott Menzel has been a life-long supporter of all things entertainment. At age five, he fell in love with film and television and was inspired by the work of Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, John Hughes, and Tim Burton. Scott grew up in a mixed-race household with six adopted brothers. His career as a critic began in 2002 when he started writing reviews for IMDB. Scott is autistic and has dedicated most of his career to supporting and elevating underrepresented voices within the entertainment industry. He serves as the Editor-In-Chief of We Live Entertainment, the CEO of the Hollywood Creative Alliance, and is a Television Academy and BAFTA member.

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