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2023 Oscars: what is the eligibility criteria for the Academy Awards?

In the movie industry the Oscars are the highest form of honour and there are strict rules governing what can, and can’t, be submitted for consideration.

Ocho de las 23 categorías de los Premios Oscar no se transmitirán en vivo este 2022. Te compartimos cuáles son y por qué la Academia las ha dejado fuer
Frazer HarrisonGetty Images

Follow the Oscars ceremony 2023 live online

The Oscars are the pinnacle of cinematic excellence, an award that marks the crowning achievement in the careers of even the finest actors, directors, and anyone else in the film industry.

On Tuesday the Academy announced the full list of nominations for the 95th Oscars Awards Ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, 12 March. For this year’s awards the likes of ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’, ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ and ‘Elvis’ have picked up a multiple nominations.

But while everyone knows the importance of the Oscars, the criteria for eligible films is less well-known. Here’s some of the rules governing movies shortlisted for the Academy Awards..

Length and picture quality

The Oscars celebrate the best in cinema so the eligibility rules set out some guidelines to define exactly what a ‘movie’ is. The submission must be at least 40 minutes long and must have be publically exhibited in line with Academy quality requirements. Those terms require that the movie is shown “by means of 35mm or 70mm film, or in a 24- or 48-frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format”.


Although streaming platforms have becoming increasingly prolific in recent years, Oscars’ rules require that the movie must have run for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial cinema theatre with thrice-daily screenings.

This period of paid admission must take place in at least one of six metropolitan areas: Los Angeles County; City of New York (five boroughs); the Bay Area (San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, San Mateo and Contra Costa); Chicago (Cook County, Illinois); Miami (Miami-Dade County, Florida); and Atlanta (Fulton County, Georgia).

Theatrical premiere

Aside from the period of theatrical screenings, to be eligible for the Oscars a film must also have received its first public exhibition in a theatrical setting. If the film premiered on television, on a streaming site or on DVD, for example, it will not be eligible.

Deadlines for submission

For this year’s awards, the qualifying screening run must begin between 1 January and 31 December 2022. Films can have received their premiere outside of the United States before that period, but no earlier than 1 January 2021.

The submission for the 2023 Academy Awards had to be submitted before 15 November 2022, and no more than 60 days after the movie first opened. For films that are released after 1 December, the submission deadline is pushed back to 2 December. Films can be submitted for consideration before they have had their first public screening, provided that details of upcoming screenings are provided to the Academy.

For the full list of eligibility rules for the Oscars, with special rules for certain categories, head over to the Academy Awards’ website.


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