Michael Moore Aims to Eliminate Rules for Documentary Oscar Qualification and Increase Academy Branch Membership
Earlier this year, filmmaker Michael Moore, in his role as a member of the Academy’s Board of Directors, helped revise the qualification rules for the Oscar for Best Feature Documentary. These changes, which included a much-talked-about requirement for a film to be reviewed by the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times, was partly aimed at lowering the amount of eligible films and promoting docs made primarily for theatrical distribution rather than television. Alterations to the voting process were also made to keep popular works like Steve James’s The Interrupters from being snubbed too easily.
Now, because of the admitted failure for at least the first part of the goal (more than 130 films have qualified and have been distributed in screener form to 170 doc branch members), Moore has come out with another plan, which he told The Wrap:
“What I’m going to propose is that instead of going back to the drawing board and making up new rules, let’s just put an end to that right now. No more special documentary rules. How about we play by the same rules as every other branch?”