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?

  • Can you boil this down to a specific nomination? Do you mean the Nomination for Best Picture? Because the rules for Foreign Language Film are substantially different.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 16:53
  • @Catija if the rules are different for different categories then that could be a part of a really good answer
    – DForck42
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 16:57
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    But there are dozens of categories. If you don't limit it, the question is too broad. Even if you look only at best film categories, there are 6.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 16:58
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    ... That's my point. Only one Foreign Language Film can be submitted for nomination from any given country but any movie that's in English can be up for the Best Feature film. Films must be over a certain length for feature films but under a certain length for short. Each category has rules.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 17:26
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1 Answer 1


The rules can and do vary slightly from year to year. This is according to the 89th Academy Awards guidelines:

  1. 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.

  2. 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
    • PPV/VOD
    • DVD distribution
    • Internet transmission
  • Note that the rules for some categories have different rules... particularly the short form categories, foreign language, and animated. This is really only half an answer.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 20:11
  • The entire document is linked. Would you like me to post the entire 34 pages in the answer?
    – Spartacus
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 21:39
  • Most of that document doesn't relate to eligibility, particularly film eligibility. At the absolute least, you could mention that there are exceptions and note which categories those apply to. You don't even include paragraph 9 which is noted in the first paragraph you quote.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 21:42
  • Feel free to edit the answer if you find the information insufficient.
    – Spartacus
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 2:01
  • 3
    You do understand that part of the point of comments is to help the poster improve their post, right?
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 2:03

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