ESPN’s five-part documentary series “O.J.: Made in America,” which won an Academy Award this year for Best Documentary Feature, may be the last production of its kind to compete for an Oscar. A rules change announced today by the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bars multipart productions from being nominated, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“The new rule says that ‘multi-part or limited series are not eligible for awards consideration,'” THR reports, adding: “The Academy also announced rule changes that could end up favoring bigger studio films in the animated feature contest and a further campaign regulation designed to curtail excessive wining and dining of Academy members.”
THR notes: “Produced by ESPN, which aired the 467-minute documentary in five-parts, O.J. also played in a number of theaters, which made it eligible for last season’s awards under the existing rules. But while the film received numerous awards from other critics groups and the various guilds and its director Ezra Edelman maintained that he had always envisioned the project as one long film, there were those in the doc community who questioned whether it should have been treated as a film — rather than a TV series — for awards purposes.”
The new rule appears to preclude the producers of future multipart documentaries from making their projects Oscar eligible by booking them into movie theaters, the report adds.