Why was Dev Patel from Lion nominated up for Supporting Actor rather than Best Actor at the 89th Academy Awards? Why is he not eligible for Best Actor, but only Supporting Actor? I'm not asking whether he should or shouldn't, but about his eligibility.
Not a direct duplicate - but related: Why was Marisa Tomei nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role instead of Best Actress? - the studio probably lobbied/promoted for Supporting Actor since an actor can only be nominated once for the same role, and they figured they had more chance winning that award.– HorusKolMar 8, 2017 at 23:38
Dev Patel plays the adult Saroo, so he is only in the movie for the last third or so. He's the main character but he's part of the resolution of the plot. It's a judgment call by the Academy, but his screen time is far less than that of the Best Actor nominees this year, so to call his a supporting role seems correct.