This year’s slate of Oscars rule changes will extend beyond making sure nobody’s dicking around on their phones while Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway collaboratively discover the best possible way to ruin La La Land’s evening. Today, the Academy announced that it’s also altering some bylaws that will have a potentially hefty impact on next year’s animation and documentary nominations.
Among the changes: Nominations for Best Animated Feature will now be in the hands of the entire Academy, not just the members of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch. Previously, nominations for Best Animated Feature were made by a committee consisting of an equal mix of Branch members—who have to have worked on at least two animated features, or been nominated in one of the animation categories before—and general Academy members. That group has been accused in recent years of favoring traditional animation and smaller-budget films over studio CGI; most notably, its members drew some ire when The Lego Movie was left off the ballot in 2014. Now, committee members for the category—which originated in 2002, when it gave its first award to Shrek—will come from all branches of the Academy, without regard for their animation credentials.
Another new rule seems aimed specifically at one of this year’s nominees: The Academy has ruled that “multi-part or limited series are not eligible for awards consideration.” That’s pretty clearly targeted at ESPN’s eight-hour O.J.: Made In America, which received a Best Documentary Feature nomination after airing in theaters, in addition to its TV run. (Technically, though, it might still have qualified under the new rules, due to airing first as a film on the festival circuit.)
The Academy also slightly altered its rules for Best Picture, allowing more producers to be nominated for the award, and allowing film score composers to submit themselves as a group.