At Saturday’s town hall meeting, academy officials confirmed that the last two Oscar categories with restrictive voting — Foreign-Language Film and Documentary Shorts — will be opened up to the entire membership.
In making the announcement, Hawk Koch, the outing academy president, explained: “This change continues our efforts to expand our members’ participation in all aspects of the Academy’s activities including, of course, voting for the Oscars. Building on this past season’s 90 percent record voter turnout, we want to give our members as many opportunities as possible to see these great films an vote in these categories next year.”
For the most recent Oscars, the academy scrapped the special screening process for Documentary Feature and both Live Action and Animated Shorts. Instead, voters received DVDs of all the nominees. That policy will extend to these two final categories this year.
Removing the compulsory attendance at screenings for the five foreign language film nominees could mean an increase in campaigning for this coveted award.
This first-ever general membership meeting took place simultaneously at the Goldwyn Theater at the Academy’s Beverly Hills headquarters, the Lighthouse Theater in Manhattan and the Pixar studio in the Bay area.