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New Oscar Eligibility Rules Require That Docs Be Reviewed in the New York Times

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 27:  The Oscar Statue production display at the Meet the Oscar Exhibit at Grand Central Terminal on February 27, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

The Oscars are revising the eligibility requirements for documentaries. Starting in 2013, they will require that a film be reviewed in either the New York or the Los Angeles Times to qualify, the New York Times reports. Outsourcing: It's fraught with potential pitfalls! The new guidelines are part of the Academy's attempt to keep nominations to "genuine theatrical [releases]," according to its COO, and would eliminate docs shown just at festivals (like DocuWeeks) or those made for TV that get tiny theatrical runs just to qualify. The Times has a policy to review every commercially released film that plays for a week in New York or L.A., but the Academy's new rules don't specify whether the review has to run in print or how long it has to be. How does the Gray Lady feel about the new situation? "It's flattering," says A.O. Scott. Isn't that what matters?

Photo: Jemal Countess/2011 Getty Images