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Academy Introduces Oscar Award For Popular Film


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to introduce a new category of Oscar award - for outstanding achievement in popular film.

This is one of the three changes that the board of governors has approved in its Tuesday night meeting as "improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world."

The Academy also set an earlier date for the 2020 Oscar awards ceremony, moving the date to February 9 instead of previously announced February 23.

There is no change to the 2019 Oscars date, which remains as announced on Sunday, February 24.

In a major change, the telecast length of the ceremony will be shortened to three hours in an attempt to make it "more accessible for the viewers worldwide".

A letter that Academy President John Bailey and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson had written to the members says, "To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theater, during commercial breaks," the categories of which will be determined later. "The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast."

Selection of movies for the best feature film award had caused discontent among a section of the cinema world as films which have done well at the box office such as Mamma Mia, Avatar and the Mission Impossible have been snubbed by the judges despite them being highly popular.

Introducing a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film is seen as a move from the Academy governing body to allay such complaints.

Meanwhile, elections to key posts in the organization were held at the meeting of the Board of Governors Tuesday.

John Bailey was re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Bailey is beginning his second term as president and his fifteenth year as a Governor representing the cinematographers' branch.

Other elected officers are Lois Burwell, First Vice President (chair, Awards and Events Committee); Sid Ganis, Vice President (chair, Museum Committee); Larry Karaszewski, Vice President (chair, Preservation and History Committee); Nancy Utley, Vice President (chair, Education and Outreach Committee); Jim Gianopulos, Treasurer (chair, Finance Committee); and David Rubin, Secretary (chair, Membership and Administration Committee).

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