Oscars 2016: Academy adjusts rules on producing credits, VFX, short films

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will follow the Producers Guild of America's lead in determining who is eligible for a best picture Oscar, the academy announced Wednesday.

Members of the academy board of governors voted on the rule change, which accompanies tweaks to the visual effects and various short film categories, at their meeting Tuesday night.

The issue of which producers on a film are eligible to receive the best picture Oscar is frequently a contentious one. Last year, key figures in the making of best picture nominee "Boyhood," IFC Films President Jonathan Sehring and Cinetic Media's John Sloss, were omitted from the academy's list of three producers, as well as the PGA's list.

The wording of the academy's rule change indicates that in such future situations, producers will have to appeal the PGA's decision if they wish to be considered by the academy. 

"In the Best Picture category, to qualify as a producer nominee for a nominated picture, the producer must have been determined eligible for a Producers Guild of America (PGA) award for the picture, or must have appealed the PGA’s refusal of such eligibility," the rule states. 

In the visual effects category, the academy increased the number of eligible films that will be initially shortlisted for further consideration from 10 to 20.  

In the documentary short category, the number of films that will be shortlisted for nominations voting has been increased from 8 to 10 titles, and instead of a fluctuating number of possible nominees each year, the number will be set at five. 

In the animated and live action shorts categories, a film qualifying via a theatrical release must now have a theater run in Los Angeles County for at least seven consecutive days with at least one screening per day.  The film also must appear in the theater listings along with the appropriate dates and screening times.  In both categories, the number of nominees is now set at five.

The 88th Oscars will be held Feb. 28 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.

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