Documentaries will have to be reviewed in NY Times or LA Times to be considered for Oscar in 2013

Deadline | The New York Times | Entertainment Weekly

A new rule to be announced this week by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would require documentaries to be reviewed by one of the two news organizations in order to be eligible for Oscar consideration. The rule does not specify the review's length or whether it must appear in print as well as online. Previously, the Academy required that documentaries be advertised in a major paper, specifically the LA Times, LA Weekly, New York Times, Village Voice or Time Out New York, Deadline reports.

For those who will complain that the new rule puts too much power over the process of Oscar eligibility in the hands of two major-market newspapers, [Academy COO Ric] Robertson says there will be an appeals process available to the filmmaker and/or distributor to state their case.

The move comes at a time when The New York Times is reviewing more films, according to the paper.

By policy The New York Times reviews every film released on a commercial screen for a week in New York or Los Angeles, and reviews some new releases screened by nonprofit groups like the Museum of Modern Art.

The annual number of reviews has risen to about 760, according to A. O. Scott, who, with Manohla Dargis, is co-chief film critic for The New York Times. That number is up by about 100 from a year earlier, Mr. Scott said.

Scott said he found the rule change "flattering." Would this change have affected the documentary about The New York Times? Entertainment Weekly reports that "Page One: Inside The New York Times," which was reviewed in that paper, did not make the Oscar shortlist. A few of the documentaries that did make the list weren't reviewed there or the LA Times.


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