Academy curtails campaigning by restricting receptions

After Oscar nominations are announced on Jan. 24, new rules from the academy will kick in that curtail campaigning. There is to be a ban on any type of reception and talent from a film can only attend two screenings during the voting period. Academy members and non-members who are nominees are to be barred from any non-screening events celebrating nominees during this time as well. (Other awards shows are exempt from this ban.)

These restrictions will spur an increase in activitiy in the already busy pre-nominations period. The academy lifted a ban on members attending events in which potential contenders tout their films. Organizers of these screenings and receptions (such as the one for the launch of “The Social Network” DVD) had ensured the presence of Oscar voters by reaching out to them via their corresponding guild memberships. 

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As academy president Tom Sherak explained in making the announcement, “These campaign regulations play an important role in protecting the integrity of the Academy Awards process and the distinction of the Oscar. Above all, we want Academy members to see movies as they were meant to be seen, in a theatrical setting.” However, the academy is allowing the use of digital screeners for the first time. 

Over the years, the academy has become more proactive about overseeing campaigning. In 1996, it forbade the use of direct mail as a means of reaching out to Oscar voters. In 2003, non-enforceable guidelines were replaced with regulations that carried penalties for contravention. 

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