They’re CHANGING the Oscars?!


The 2025 Academy Awards are still months away, but already there are some reasons to talk about the upcoming ceremony! There are many changes being made to how categories and qualifications for the Oscars next year. Let’s dive in!

For starters, Drive-In theatres are no longer considered eligible venues to qualify for awards. In 2020, during the height of pandemic restrictions, changes were made that let films screened in drive-in theatres be eligible for awards. There were a lot of traditional movie theatres that were closed due to restrictions in 2020. That lead to drive-in theatres making a comeback, as everyone could be in their own car, not in anyone else’s space, and still enjoy a movie on the big screen. Since these restrictions have, by and large, fallen to the wayside, this temporary rule to allow drive-in theatre movies has been cancelled. Films now need to play in regular movie theatres to qualify for the awards.

The Academy has also changed some rules about how films release to qualify for Best Pictures. The run of a film is expanded to seven days—consecutive or not—in 10 of the top 50 US markets. This run has to be no more than 45 days after the films initial release. The Academy also says that films can include two non-US markets within that 10-market, seven-day run. So it could be running for 7 straight days in 8 US markets, then one in France, and one in Canada, for example in order to qualify for the Oscars.

If a film has a late release, and wants to qualify for Best Picture, it has to have a release planned and completed no later than January 24th. They have to submit these plans to the Academy no later than January 10th, however. 

There are also changes for the Animation category of the Oscars. If an animated film is submitted in the International Film category, but also qualifies for the Animated Film category, it can be submitted to both at the same time.

For the Writing category, there is one more thing that has to be submitted in order to qualify: the shooting script. So now the script used when shooting a film has to be submitted in order for someone to win an Oscar for the best written film, for example. 

An interesting change has been made for composers in the Oscars. The change states that film composers may not have to share an Oscar Statue now. Up to three composers can submit for the same film as long as they’ve significantly contributed to the score. Then all three could win their own Oscars statue! No more sharing Oscar statues! Previously they had to qualify as a group. Now a “group” is considered a band, like if NSYNC won an Oscar, they would be considered a group. 

There were also another award winner that will now be receiving an Oscar statue for winning. The Irving G. Thalburg Memorial Award given out at the Governors awards will now be given a statuette. This award recognizes a producer whose body of work in motion pictures is consistently high quality. Also the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award has had its definition clarified. It used to have a broad definition of “humanitarian”, but now states that the award will go to “an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry by promoting human welfare and contributing to rectifying inequities.” 

Two awards given out at Scientific and Technical Awards have been renamed. The Gordon E. Sawyer award is now known as “Scientific and Technical Lifetime Achievement Award” and the John A. Bonner Award is now called the “Scientific and Technical Service Award.”

That’s a lot of changes to next year’s Academy Awards ceremonies! What category are you looking forward to being given out?


– Tam