Oscars Creating ‘Popular Film’ Category In Academy Awards Reform


by Ben Travis |
Published on

It’s all change at the Oscars – the Academy has unveiled plans for a new category, a shorter telecast and an earlier airdate set to roll out in the coming years. The most attention-grabbing announcement is the arrival of a new award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film. Further details and eligibility requirements are yet to be announced, but the category is expected to cater to more blockbuster and genre films, often seen as maligned by awards ceremonies.

Other planned changes include the televised Oscars show being cut down to three hours (an hour shorter than usual). “To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined),” a letter to Academy members reads. “The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast.” The 92nd Oscars have also been brought forward from 23 February to 9 February 2020, though the eligibility dates for Oscar releases and the voting period will remain the same. The next ceremony will be the 91st Academy Awards.

The new Popular Film category is bound to be controversial, even before concrete details about it have been confirmed. While it should help to close the gap between the habits and tastes of cinemagoers and the films celebrated by the Academy, the division between ‘Popular Film’ and ‘Best Picture’ could prove a sticking point. Either way, expect this to shake up the Oscar race in future.

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