Oscars to add 'Popular Film' category, won't televise all awards

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 09, 2018, 05:29 PM(IST)

File image of the Oscar statue Photograph:( Others )

In a bid to get Academy Awards the television ratings that it enjoyed till a couple of years back, the organisation behind the awards on Wednesday said that they would add a category for blockbuster films and also shorten the length of live telecast by giving out some statuettes during commercial breaks itself. 

This was announced after John Bailey, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wrote a letter to the members saying that they are now adding “outstanding achievement in popular film”. 

The letter is co-signed by Dawn Hudson, the academy’s chief executive, who did not say what would constitute a “popular” film. They, however, clarified that a film can be nominated in both best picture and popular film category. 

The letter further stated: “Eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming.” 

The board has also decided to keep the telecast limited as an effort to deliver “a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide.” 

There is a third change but it will not be incorporated till 2020, as per the academy. The telecast will be held earlier in the year in an attempt to speed up Hollywood’s awards season, which in recent years has stretched to four back-to-back months of ceremonies. By the time the Oscars take place, the attendees are bogged down from visiting one award ceremony to another. 

All this is coming in time to pick up the pace of Oscars in terms of ratings. The criticism has largely been around the length of the telecast and their tendency to honour niche films that majority of American moviegoers have not seen. 

There are other issues too like the Oscars being called racist with black actors and films with black characters being overlooked year after another. 

The next Oscars will be held on February 24. 

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