New Rules For the 96th Oscars

Each year the Academy’s Board of Governors meet to discuss possible new rules for the next Academy Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed this week their “most significant overhaul” of the campaign promotional regulation and awards rules for the upcoming 96th Academy Awards.

The updated rules and regulations clarify questions surrounding social media, communications in public forums including an expansion on both violations and penalties, and the review process for individuals directly associated with a film or member conduct. Following the robust campaign for To Leslie last year, which resulted in Andrea Riseborough receiving a Best Actress nomination, some of these changes were expected. 

The substantive updates and changes are noted below: 

  • Clarification of rules regarding private events and gatherings. 
  • Clarification of rules regarding general and direct communications to Academy members. 
  • Clarification of rules regarding public communications, including on social media.
  • Clarification of rules for “For Your Consideration” screenings, Q&A sessions and panel discussions. 
  • Expanded language on regulation violations and penalties, including the process for reporting and reviewing a violation.

Some of the most significant changes include allowing private events and gatherings that include members, which the Academy does “not consider” FYC events. However, motion picture studios and companies are prohibited from funding, organizing, or endorsing such events. Another aspect of changes that felt a bit brought on specifically from events last season included social media rules. Social media rules regarding referencing other competitors will continue to be in place and will be enforced. The Academy emphasized that Academy members and/or campaign teams talking about voting decisions, strategies or referencing a motion picture meeting or not meeting the Oscars eligibility requirements, including the Inclusion Standards or theatrical distribution thresholds, which was introduced in 2020. 

Other updates include limiting the number of “hosted” screenings ahead of nominations to a maximum of four and the elimination of “hosted” screenings post-nominations entirely. The Academy also removed the limitation of four Q&As post-nominations, which will now be unlimited in the post-nomination season. Physical forms of outreach, including postcards and screening schedules, are not allowed, which is to show support for the Academy’s commitment to sustainability. The Board of Governors are prohibited from hosting private events, gatherings, screenings or moderating any Q&A or panel discussion unless they are directly associated with the motion picture itself. Motion picture companies can now reference their film as “shortlisted” after the announcement of the shortlist categories in FYC mailings. 

Other awards rules changes include:

  • The International Feature Film category rules now stipulate that selection committees must comprise at least 50% filmmakers (artists and/or craftspeople).
  • In the Live Action Short Film category, voting privileges will be extended to all Academy members who opt in to participate.

Submission deadlines and additional key dates are as follows:

  • Tuesday, August 15, 2023: First submission deadline for Animated Short Film, Documentary Feature Film, Documentary Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories
  • Friday, September 15, 2023: First submission deadline for Animated Feature Film and General Entry categories
  • Monday, October 2, 2023: Final submission deadline for Documentary Feature Film and International Feature Film categories
  • Monday, October 16, 2023: Final submission deadline for Animated Short Film, Documentary Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories
  • Wednesday, November 1, 2023: Final submission deadline for Music (Original Score) and Music (Original Song) categories
  • Wednesday, November 15, 2023: Final submission deadline for Animated Feature Film and General Entry categories
  • Saturday, January 13, 2024: Visual Effects nominating screening (bake-off)
  • Sunday, January 14, 2024: Makeup and Hairstyling nominating screening and Sound nominating screening (bake-offs)

The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 10. For the complete 96th Academy Awards rules and campaign promotional regulations, visit

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