Next year’s Academy Awards race includes significant changes that alter Best Picture and more read full article at

Next year’s Academy Awards ceremony will abide by a new set of rules that alter several marquee categories at the annual film event.

Oscars, Academy Awards, Best Picture, rules
Next year's Academy Awards race includes significant changes that alter Best Picture and more read full article at 3

The 97th Academy Awards are already creating buzz as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces changes to the rules for next year’s show. One statute going the way of the dodo is the Covid-era rule about drive-in theaters as qualifying commercial markets. Affected categories include Best Picture, Animated Feature, International Feature Film, Original Score, writing categories, and more. Deadline outlines some of the alterations to next year’s Oscars; some changes could change the game more than others.

Changes highlighted in today’s reports include:

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

Films released from January 1 to December 31 are eligible for next year’s race. While drive-in venues no longer qualify as legit markets to host Oscar hopefuls, Dallas is replacing Miami as the U.S. metropolitan area, alongside Atlanta, New York City, the Bay Area, Los Angeles County, and Chicago.

A collection of other notable changes to the rules 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 International Feature Film category eligibility period 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.
  • Regarding Writing categories, a final shooting script will now be required for submission.

Is the Best Animated Feature category going to get much bigger next year? It certainly sounds that way. The 97th Academy Awards ceremony takes place on March 2, 2025, but it’s essential to post the new rules as soon as possible. New rules mean a margin for confusion as studios, filmmakers, writers, crew members, and actors adjust to the new law of the land. Do these new rules make the show more appealing? What could the Academy do to make the show worth tuning in for? Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments section below.

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He’s also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You’ll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.

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