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No more streaming-only debuts for Oscar contenders

The Oscars are getting back to normal in terms of eligibility. After two years of pandemic-related adjustments, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Wednesday that Oscar hopefuls must re-release their films.

Qualifying films may premiere “Day and Date” in theaters and on a streaming service, but their theatrical run must be at least seven consecutive days, with at least one showing per day in one of six eligible major metropolitan areas. Filming locations continue to be Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta and the San Francisco Bay Area.

The rules and changes for the 95th Academy Awards in 2023 were approved by the organization’s Board of Governors at their most recent meeting, where they noted that the selection window will be reset to the normal calendar year. The board also said individual films may submit no more than three songs for the Best Original Song award.

The organization also distributed updated awards campaign guidelines to “maintain a high level of fairness and transparency” in the way film companies and individuals promote award-winning films. These policies focus on promotions, performances, contacting members, and hospitality.

One rule states that “no promotional materials or anything of value may be given to members at demonstrations or otherwise.” Another stipulates that “prior to nomination, no promotional material or items of value may be given to members at screenings or otherwise” and after nominations until the close of polling stations, “screenings shall not include receptions, entertainment, complimentary food and beverages, or similar hospitality.”

It also limits the number of emails members can receive per week about a particular film and states that music industry members may not contact other music industry members directly to solicit a song or score for nomination. Members of the music industry should also not attend performances or events with live performances of appropriate music.

The Academy affirmed that members should make decisions “solely based on the artistic and technical merits of the eligible films and performances.” Violations of the guidelines will result in disqualification and possible suspension or expulsion from the academy.

The 95th Academy Awards will take place on March 12 in Los Angeles.

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