Oscars race: why it’s too early to share that self-congratulatory tweet

An Oscar statue outside the Dolby Theatre. File   | Photo Credit: AP

On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the long-list of 347 films eligible to compete for the Oscars. The ‘reminder list’ had Indian film personalities posting self-congratulatory tweets and sending off ecstatic messages to the press, as though finding a place on it was some arduous battle won.

The fact is that a ‘reminder list’ is not a ‘shortlist’; it just marks acceptance of submission. A mention on the list is neither a big achievement nor a measure of the film’s quality. Any film, even that made by rank amateurs, can make it to the ‘reminder list’ if it fulfills certain simple eligibility criteria.

As per the Academy’s rules, any feature-length motion picture qualifies for the list if it has a running time of more than 40 minutes, is exhibited publicly, i.e. theatrically, on 35mm or 70mm film or in a qualifying digital format. The film must open in a commercial motion picture theatre in Los Angeles County and complete a minimum run of seven consecutive days during which period screenings must occur at least three times daily, with at least one screening beginning between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. The required Los Angeles County qualifying run for this year must begin between January 1, 2018 and midnight of December 31, 2018. Additionally, motion pictures from all countries are eligible but need to contain English language subtitles if released in a foreign language.

Through other channels

Films competing in the ‘foreign language’ race have to be submitted officially by individual countries. At times, makers of Indian films that don’t make it to the list officially apply directly to the Academy and secure themselves a place on the reminder list. Like Vashu Bhagnani’s Jackky Bhagnani-starrer Youngistaan, when it got pipped to the post by Geetu Mohandas’ Liar’s Dice as India’s official entry in 2014.

The reminder list of all eligible motion pictures is made available along with a nominations ballot to all active and life members of the Academy, who vote in the order of their preference for not more than five pictures in each category, except for the best picture award, which has not more than ten nor fewer than five nominations. Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards, from the reminder list, will be announced on January 22 which is when the contenders will get separated from the pretenders.

And the winners will take it all on February 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

The only shortlists to have been announced for this year till now are in the following categories — Documentary Feature; Documentary Short Subject; Foreign Language Film; Makeup and Hairstyling; Music (Original Score); Music (Original Song); Animated Short Film; Live Action Short Film; and Visual Effects.

The one film of interest for India here is Period. End of Sentence, which has been shortlisted in the ‘Documentary Short’ category, with Guneet Monga as one of the executive producers and Shaan Vyas as one of the co-producers.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 8:20:04 PM |

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