HOLLYWOOD, June 16, 2000 – Memo to Hollywood: If you want to be eligible for an Oscar nomination, don’t premiere your movie on the Internet. New rules approved this week by the board of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences say that any movie that’s shown in Cyberspace before its theatrical debut will forfeit its eligibility for a golden statue.
The move comes in the wake of the dizzying growth of websites like atomfilms.com, reelshort.com, etc., that play original films on the ‘net, and it emphasizes the Academy’s “longstanding principle that its porvince is theatrical motion pictures, as distnct from pictures experienced as lone viewing,” says spokesman John Pavlik.
“You’re reading and hearding all sorts of things about producers trying new ways to exhibit and distribute their films. I guess for now this would only apply to short films, but tech is showing so rapidly that we didn’t want people to show their movie on the internet and unknowingly lose their chance of getting an oscar nomination.
“We’re treating it the same way we treat television. You have to decide whether you want your picture to be a theatrical release, tv release or an internet release. You can do both, but you have to do the theatrical release first,” says Pavlik.
Guess this means that “Mission: Imp” and all the other quickie parodies premiering daily across the Web won’t be winning any big-time awards. And maybe that’s a good thing.