Let The 2005 Awards Season Begin!

It might still be eight months before the 77th Annual Academy Awards are handed out in Hollywood, but that hasn’t stopped the Academy and others from making important decisions that may affect your enjoyment of the veritable cornucopia of tchotchkes handed out between December and February.

First, the rules for the 77th Annual Academy Awards were approved Tuesday evening by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Reviewed annually by the various members of the various branches and category committees, two major changes were made to the Academy rules. The first guarantees, for the first time, there will be three nominations in the Sound Editing Award category. Previous rules permitted three options for the Award, depending on the number of potential nominees in any given year: 1) voting by the Board of Governors of a Special Achievement Award for Sound Editing; 2) placement on the final ballot of two or three nominated achievements to be voted upon by all voting members of the Academy; 3) no award given that year. The award, previously known as Best Sound Effects and Best Sound Effects Editing, will find seven productions, selected by preferential ballot by all eligible members of the sound branch, then have those seven films screened for the members of the Sound Editing Awards Committee, which will select the three nominees for final voting by all eligible members of the Academy. In years past, initial balloting was done not by all members of the branch, but only by select sound editors and post-production mixers who were sent ballots. The other change in the Academy rules incorporates a previously-voted on provision that permits marketers to show up to ten minutes or ten percent of the running time of a film, whichever is shorter, in a nontheatrical medium prior to the film’s theatrical release without jeopardizing the film’s eligibility. The 77th Annual Academy Awards will be handed out at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, February 27, 2005.

Not to be outdone, The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced today the Orange British Academy Film Awards in 2005 will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2005, and will be broadcast on BBC One. For those of us not in the UK, the Orange British Academy Film Awards (Orange being a British cellular phone company, which would be the equivalent of having T-Mobile sponsor the Academy Awards) have grown in stature, becoming the one of the largest globally recognized film awards ceremony outside of the United States. The awards are voted on by the British Academy’s 5,000 plus film voting members, who select the best amongst more than 400 films shown on British movie theatres in the previous year.