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Oscars Fulfill Electronic Ballot Promise, Lengthen Voting Window

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 18, 2012 at 7:08PM

There are many ways that the Academy is still in the dark ages as far as the reality of modern filmmaking is concerned. Movies have to open in theaters to be eligible for the Oscar, at a time when online viewing is commonplace. Thus, in order to give voting members and audiences more time to see the nominated films, the Academy will announce the 85th Academy Awards nominations on January 10, five days earlier than it had planned, and three days ahead of the Golden Globes.
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There are many ways that the Academy is still in the dark ages as far as the reality of modern filmmaking is concerned. Movies have to open in theaters to be eligible for the Oscar, at a time when online viewing is commonplace. Thus, in order to give voting members and audiences more time to see the nominated films, the Academy will announce the 85th Academy Awards nominations on January 10, five days earlier than it had planned, and three days ahead of the Golden Globes.

Key Academy dates are listed below.

Computer graphics are recognized as visual effects or via animated films, while the artists and talent who create great CG characters --from Gollum to Cesar--are not recognized as actors. But the Academy is slowly catching up, with a push or two from new chief Dawn Hudson. For the first time, electronic balloting will be available to voters in addition to standard-issue paper ballots. But voters will not be accessing their ballots from their home computer. They'll have to go voting stations, created by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Everyone Counts, in LA, NY and London, equipped with a 24-hour telephone help line.

This year the pre-nominations phase will continue via paper ballot in eight categories that require screenings and/or presentations: Animated Feature Film, Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Hairstyling and Visual Effects.

This article is related to: Academy Awards, Oscars, Awards, Awards


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.