The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has set a number of new rules for the 94th Academy Awards, including changes to the sound and music categories.
The updated rules were revealed on the Academy Awards' website on Wednesday and will be put in place for the coming Oscars season. The 94th Academy Awards ceremony is set to take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, on March 27.
The most notable changes include a revision to the eligibility criteria for the original score category. Previously, a score had to comprise a minimum of 60 per cent of a film to be eligible for the award. That number has been decreased to 35 per cent.
In another change to the music category, films can no longer submit more than five songs for the Best Original Song award.
Ahead of the 2022 nominations, a preliminary round of voting for the Best Sound award will be held to determine a shortlist of 10 films.
“Sound Branch members will be invited to a presentation of the shortlisted achievements, similar to the process in the Visual Effects and Makeup & Hairstyling categories,” the Academy Awards' blog post explains. “The entire Sound Branch will vote to select the shortlist as well as nominations.”
In the Documentary Short Subject, Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories, the shortlist will expand from 10 to 15 films.
The Academy Awards have also set deadlines for submissions for award consideration. The short film categories have set a submission deadline of Friday, October 15. Feature films and original scores have set Monday, November 1 as a deadline. Submissions to the General Entry category should be sent in before Monday, November 15.
The eligibility period will also now return to its previous end-of-year deadline. The eligibility period for the 93rd Academy Awards was extended until the end of February in light of the challenges brought on by the pandemic.
That grace period will not be implemented this year. Feature films must have a qualifying release date between this March 1 and December 31 to be eligible for awards.
“Additionally, beginning with the 94th Academy Awards, the Best Picture category will be set at 10 nominees, rather than a fluctuating number of nominations from year to year,” the Academy Award said. “This was previously announced in June 2020.”
In the International Feature Film category, key rule amendments put in place in January 2021 remain unchanged.
“This includes an expanded shortlist of 15 films and members from all Academy branches being invited to opt in and participate in the preliminary and nominations rounds of voting,” the Academy Award said in its website. “Members must meet a minimum viewing requirement to be eligible to vote in the category.”