Call me a cynic, but a move by the Academy of Motions Picture Arts & Sciences to make "day-and-date" film releases ineligible for Academy Awards (according to today's Variety) appears to be the latest attempt to prevent kudo-worthy indies from getting awards. Just like the brief "screener ban" was a veiled attempt to stifle the ability of smaller movies to reach Academy members' eyeballs, this latest effort seems directly connected to Hollywood's Oscar envy--with bigger movies increasingly shut out come Academy-time.
AMPAS president Sid Ganis told Variety, "Right now, we're the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. If you want to premiere your movie on TV, there's a very fine academy that handles that."
Films like "Bubble" and Magnolia Pictures' upcoming slate (funded by Mark Cuban's 2929 Entertainment) and "I Am A Sex Addict" from IFC Film's First Take series (which is owned by Cablevision) are all at risk. I would hope these two big media entities will call up Mr. Ganis and illuminate him about the current changes in distribution and exhibition, especially for lower budget films.