The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is shaking up the process for determining this year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar. The Hollywood Reporter says the nominees will now by picked not by the L.A-based volunteers who can attend the Sunday screenings of the eligible features but by a larger group which can view the pics on screeners. This change will make it easier for more of the 6,000-plus members to participate in the process, and result in an increase in the number of people who select the nominees.
In the past, the Animated Feature Film Award Screening Committee determined the nominees: Half were been chosen members of the Short Films and Animated Feature branch and half were members of one the Academy’s other branches. All had be unaffiliated with any of the movies in contention, but also available to attend L.A. screenings of the eligible films over several Sundays starting in November.
The new rule change will enable Academy members who are based outside of the L.A. area to serve on the Screening Committee, and allowing them to weigh the eligible films by watching them on DVD or Blu-ray screeners, as opposed to having to attend the official screenings.
This decision is consistent with other recent Academy efforts to find ways to include more members in more voting decisions.
The Short Films and Feature Animation Committee is chaired by Jon Bloom, who also serves as one of its reps on the Board of Governors, along with Disney-Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter and Bill Kroyer. This committee does not get to determine its corresponding nominees because some fear that branch members might just vote in blocks on behalf of their respective studios’ contender(s).