The Oscar Shorts Category

The other day I got a press release from The Academy about the Oscar shorts category and the issue of eligibility. I then asked some of the filmmakers what they thought about that category, and they didn’t have too much to say. Marcy Freedman (JSF, v.2) said she’s never given much thought to it, but that it’d be nice if The Academy created an avant-garde or experimental category and tried to put the Arts into the AMPA(!)&S. More than one other person thinks the Oscars are overly commercial, political, and ergo ignorable.

The JSF is not taking a position just yet, but did retch a bit when reading the quote below.

Film festival qualification is the most common way short filmmakers qualify their films. However, filmmakers may become victims of their own success if their films win the “wrong” award or are given a television or Internet premiere as a part of the festival’s prizing.

“I want to make sure that filmmakers don’t shoot themselves in the foot regarding Oscar in their zeal to get their film seen,” he says. “I want to be sure they don’t jump into a screening opportunity before they check to see if it will affect their qualifying for Oscar competition.”

In addition to festival complications, short films were disqualified from last year’s Academy Awards for:
§ Submitting the film in the wrong format;
§ Submitting the film in the wrong category;
§ Submitting alternate versions of the same film; and
§ Airing “too much” of the film on television or the Internet (including advertising).

If you would like additional information about short film qualification or would like to talk to Jon, please contact me.
Sincerely,
Tarrah Lee Curtis
9310) 247-3090
tcurtis@oscars.org

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