Oscars: Academy Adopts New Schedule for Announcing Its Shortlists for Nine Categories (Exclusive)

Instead of issuing a series of individual announcements, the Academy will reveal all of its shortlists for categories ranging from foreign-language film to song and score on the same day in mid-December.
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The end-of-the-year chaos of the film awards season will be reduced slightly this year.

For the first time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce all of its nine shortlists — impacting the categories of foreign-language film, animated short, documentary feature, documentary short, live-action short, makeup and hairstyling, visual effects, original score and best original song — on the same date in mid-December, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

In 15 of the 24 competitive categories that are celebrated on Oscar night, including best picture, Academy members from relevant branches simply pick nominees from the entire field of eligible contenders, which are presented to them on a "reminder list" ahead of the final nominations voting window. But for the other nine categories, contenders are winnowed down to a smaller shortlist before the final nominations voting take place.

In the past, shortlist voting for some categories began as early as October, while shortlists themselves were released on separate dates throughout December. But this year, voting for all shortlists will take place during the first two weeks of December, leading to a simultaneous announcement of all shortlists on Monday, Dec. 17.

Last year, the 10 finalists for best animated short were announced on Dec. 4; the 10 finalists for best documentary short were announced on Dec. 5; the 15 finalists for best documentary feature were announced on Dec. 7; the 10 finalists for best live-action short were announced on Dec. 11; the nine finalists for best foreign-language film were announced on Dec. 14; and the seven finalists for best makeup and hairstyling were announced on Dec. 19.

The visual effects branch produces two shortlists en route to the nominations — the first reduces the field of contenders down to 20, and was announced last year on Dec. 4, and the second halves that number to 10, and was announced last year on Dec. 18.

This is the first year since 1979 in which there will be shortlists for best original score and best original song; both will include 15 finalists.

This is also the first year in which the entire Oscar voting process — from shortlists through nominations voting through final voting — will take place exclusively online; in other words, no paper ballots will be made available to Academy members at any step along the way.

The Academy confirmed this report.