Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

DID YOU KNOW...? - "Best Picture" Eligibility

Did you know...

In order for a feature film to be considered for "Best Picture" Academy Award honors, it has to meet the following 2 relatively simple criteria:

1. It must open in a commercial motion picture theatre in Los Angeles County by midnight, December 31 of the year of consideration.

2. It must be given a minimum theatrical run of seven consecutive days, also before the December 31st deadline.

That's it!!

Yes, I know, I know... it's not quite that simple - a robust marketing budget will certainly be of some help. However, there's just something thrilling about the fact that anyone with a feature film, as well as several thousand dollars to four-wall a theatre in L.A. for a week, (assuming you have no other distribution agreements), will be within the Academy's consideration radar!

Knowing all of that, any filmmaker with a completed feature - especially one with some critical acclaim on its resume, no matter how minor - should look for ways to exploit the awards process to their advantage. I'm not quite sure how, but I think there's some potential there. You likely won't be nominated for any awards, but you just might be able to generate some publicity for your film!

This year, 281 feature films are eligible for the Academy Award for Best Picture of 2008. The 81st Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 22 at 5:30 a.m. PST in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.



  1. The Sujewa said...

    Yeah, a DIY movie by John Moritsugu - I forget which one - basically an ultra-low budget feature, was in consideration for the Academy Awards, I heard (I know, not too many details, but I interviewed Jon about this way back when) - and it was I think a self-distributed feature that had a very minimal run.

  2. The Sujewa said...

    Found that info. re: Moritsugu flick & the Academy:

    "Q: I've heard that Fame Whore was up for Academy Award consideration, what's the story behind that?

    A: In late 1999 I got a letter from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences letting me know that FAME WHORE was up for Academy Award "consideration". It was a total weird and fun shock to me but it strangely made sense cuz the film did play out a lot and got quite a few rave reviews. Anyhoo, long story short, they eventually kicked it out of the running on a technicality -it screened on 16mm in theaters (all Academy Award narrative films are required to screened on 35mm)."

    From this interview with Jon:

  3. The Obenson Report said...

    Cool - thanks! I guess I should add that all films are required 35 mm screenings. So, no DV screenings, which sucks, actually. Then again, I suppose if they allowed for those, the total number of films up for consideration will likely quintuple!

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