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Serialized documentaries ineligible for Oscars in rules shakeup

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Serialized documentaries ineligible for Oscars in rules shakeup

Multi-part documentary series will be ineligible for the Oscars, organizers said on Friday as part of a new list of awards rules, just a few months after ESPN’s serialized “O.J.: Made in America” won the Oscar for best feature documentary.

The change will affect any multi-part and limited series documentaries that would have attempted to qualify for next year’s Oscar, a spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said.

Documentaries that are shown on TV or released on DVD before a qualifying run in theaters will be ineligible.

“O.J.: Made in America” is an eight-hour documentary that was shown as a film with intermissions at major film festivals and limited theaters, thus qualifying for Oscar contention. It was also shown across five installments on ABC and ESPN television networks.

The film, an exploration into the 1995 murder trial of former U.S. football star O.J. Simpson, won the best documentary Oscar in February over “13th,” “I Am Not Your Negro,” “Fire at Sea” and “Life, Animated.”

The Academy regularly updates its rules on Oscars eligibility and campaigning.

Other new rules this year included Academy members no longer being allowed to attend any lunches or dinners for a film contending for Oscars that does not include a screening.

The Academy said the new rules were part of “the continuing effort to address the issue of excessive campaigning and keeping the attention on the movies themselves.” (REUTERS)

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