There are plenty of movies released every year, but usually nominations for Oscars are boiled down to somewhere between 30-50. What makes a movie eligible to be considered for nomination for the Academy Awards?
The rules can and do vary slightly from year to year. This is according to the 89th Academy Awards guidelines:
All eligible motion pictures, unless otherwise noted (see Paragraph 9, below), must be:
a. feature length (defined as over 40 minutes),
b. publicly exhibited by means of 35mm or 70mm film, or in a 24- or 48-frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format with a minimum projector resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels, source image format conforming to ST 428-1:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Image Characteristics; image compression (if used) conforming to ISO/IEC 15444-1 (JPEG 2000); and image and sound file formats suitable for exhibition in commercial Digital Cinema sites. (Blu-ray format does not meet Digital Cinema requirements.)
The audio in a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) is typically 5.1 or 7.1 channels of discrete audio. The minimum for a non-mono configuration of the audio shall be three channels as Left, Center, Right (a Left/Right configuration is not acceptable in a theatrical environment).
The audio data shall be formatted in conformance with ST 428-2:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Audio Characteristics and ST 428-3:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Audio Channel Mapping and Channel Labeling,
c. for paid admission in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County,
d. for a qualifying run of at least seven consecutive days, during which period screenings must occur at least three times daily, with at least one screening beginning between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. daily,
e. advertised and exploited during their Los Angeles County qualifying run in a manner normal and customary to theatrical feature distribution practices, and
f. released within the Awards year deadlines specified in Rule Three.
Films that, in any version, receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release will not be eligible for Academy Awards in any category. Nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to:
- Broadcast and cable television
- DVD distribution
- Internet transmission