Oscars to Allow 5 to 10 Best Picture Nominees

TheAcademyofMotion Picture Artsand Sciences has approved a change in the nominations process that will allow between five and 10 best picture nominees.

The board voted Tuesday to approve the change.

The number of nominees won’t be announced until the best picture nominees are announced on January 24th.

Ten best-picture nominations were announced for this year’s and last year’s Oscars. In previous years it was five.

Says retiring Academy Executive Director Bruce Davis: “A best picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit. If there are only eight pictures that truly earn that honor in a given year, we shouldn’t feel an obligation to round out the number.”

The academy said if the new system had been used over the past decade, there would have been between 5 and 9 films nominated each year. 

British drama The King’s Speech won best picture this year.

And in a nod to the expanding number of animated films released each year, for instance, the organization opened the door to a greater number of nominees for best animated feature. Now, when 13 to 15 of these films are released in a given year, 4 may be nominated, 1 more than in previous years.

The number of nominees will remain at five for the major acting, writing and directing categories.

A few weeks ago the Academy advised members that it would shift from paper ballots to an electronic voting system as early as this year. Electronic voting allows the academy to consider an earlier date for its awards show, a change that might wake up the audience and would almost certainly trigger recalibration by organizations that give pre-Oscar awards. Those include the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives the Golden Globes at a ceremony in January.

The next Oscars will be held on February 26, 2012.

(AP, New York Times)

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