The Academy's board has voted to add a new category to honor "popular film", marking the first time in almost two decades that a category has been added to the award slate.
The annual Oscars ceremony will recognize popular films and be limited to just three hours, organizers said on Wednesday, in a bid to stave off slumping audiences for the most prestigious honors in the movie industry.
At this point, it's unclear whether or not the popular film category will be implemented as early as next year, I feel like the sooner, the better, as they can use a boost in overall viewership.
They've also changed the date of the 2020 ceremony to the 9th of February. And what criteria will be used to determine whether a film qualifies as "popular?"
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The sweeping changes also include handing out some of the 24 Academy Awards during commercial breaks in the February 24 broadcast on Walt Disney Co.'s ABC network. Several tweets have flagged controversial past Best Picture winners that were awarded over arguably worthier contenders - such as Forrest Gump over Pulp Fiction.
Fans of the awards show took to Twitter in response to the announcement, pointing out that the difference between the new category and best picture is unclear and adding that it's unfair to not have recognition for stunt work and choreography, or voice acting performances.
Change is coming to the #Oscars. However, while the film earned Heath Ledger a posthumous award for his supporting role as the Joker, the film itself was left out of the Best Picture category.
The Academy has recently made much-lauded moves to diversify and expand its membership, which would theoretically lead to a corresponding diversification and expansion of the kind of films that get nominated for, and awarded, Oscars.
Among the changes is to present fewer categories live. "We have the MTV Movie Awards for that kind of junk", he said. The first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929 actually did give out two top awards, one for Outstanding Picture and one for Unique and Artistic Picture to recognize both art films and epics, but the Unique and Artistic category was dropped the next year. "Craftspeople make up a huge part of the academy membership".