The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued new regulations for how movies and achievements eligible for the 84th Academy Awards may be marketed to Academy members. The most notable change affects screening events that include filmmaker participation. Additional changes address digital delivery of movies to Academy members and public references to competing films or achievements via social media platforms.
“These campaign regulations play an important role in protecting the integrity of the Academy Awards process and the distinction of the Oscar,” said Academy president Tom Sherak. “Above all, we want Academy members to see movies as they were meant to be seen, in a theatrical setting.”
Prior to the nominations announcement, Jan. 24, 2012, there are no restrictions on screening events to which Academy members may be invited. These events may include the live participation of individuals involved with the film (Q&A panel discussions, etc.) as well as receptions with food and beverage. After the nominations have been announced, Academy members may continue to be invited to screenings that have filmmaker participation elements but receptions are not permitted. While there is no restriction on the total number of screenings of a particular movie, no one individual from the film can participate in more than two panel discussions. Previously, Academy members could not be invited to any screening event that included live participation of the filmmakers or a reception either before or after the nominations had been announced.
Additionally, after nominations are announced and until final polls close, members may not be invited to or attend any non-screening event that promotes or honors a nominated movie or individual nominee. Nominees themselves are also prohibited from attending such events. Academy-sanctioned events and awards ceremonies presented by the various guilds, critics groups and other organizations are exempt.
The regulations now emphasize that viewing motion pictures in a theatrical setting is highly preferred over any other viewing method. The distribution of screeners is still permitted, however, with specific restrictions on packaging and accompanying materials. The digital distribution of movies to Academy members is now acceptable, as long as the delivery method conforms to the regulations.
The long-standing ban on negative campaigning about other nominated films or individuals is now extended to social media platforms, and specific penalties are spelled out. Academy members will be subject to a one-year suspension for first-time violations and expulsion for any subsequent violations. As in the past, any form of advertising that includes quotes or comments – negative or positive – by Academy members is prohibited.