Academy launches probe after indie movie’s shock Oscars nod

The Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences mentioned Friday it was launching a evaluation of Oscars campaigning, days after a small indie movie shocked industry-watchers with a shock nomination to Hollywood’s most prestigious awards.

“To Leslie” had taken simply $27,000 on the field workplace when star Andrea Riseborough’s identify appeared on the shortlist of nominees for Finest Actress.

Riseborough, who performs a Texas single mom scuffling with alcoholism, beat out presumed frontrunners Viola Davis (“The Lady King”) and Danielle Deadwyler (“Until”).

The nod got here after an intense, last-minute social media marketing campaign mounted on her behalf by superstar pals together with Edward Norton, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sarah Paulson.

Film {industry} journal Selection mentioned the Academy had obtained a number of calls and emails within the wake of the nomination, and there was a raging debate amongst moviemakers over whether or not guidelines had been damaged.

On Friday, the Academy mentioned it could be analyzing its processes, though it didn’t point out the movie by identify.

“It’s the Academy’s objective to make sure that the Awards competitors is performed in a good and moral method, and we’re dedicated to making sure an inclusive awards course of,” a press release mentioned.

“We’re conducting a evaluation of the marketing campaign procedures round this 12 months’s nominees, to make sure that no pointers have been violated, and to tell us whether or not adjustments to the rules could also be wanted in a brand new period of social media and digital communication.

“We have now confidence within the integrity of our nomination and voting procedures, and assist real grassroots campaigns for excellent performances.”

The Oscars are awarded based mostly on the votes of the 9,500 members of the Academy — lots of them earlier winners.

Academy membership is split into 17 branches — actors, administrators, producers, costume designers and so forth — with every department choosing the nominees of their space of experience.

With round 1,300 members of the actors’ department, a nominee on this class wants simply over 200 votes to make the shortlist.

Within the months forward of the Oscars, which this 12 months shall be held on March 12, billboards in Los Angeles are plastered with commercials for movies as studios search to influence voting members.

There are additionally a bunch of events and occasions aimed toward producing a buzz.

Campaigns are sometimes organised by skilled corporations and customarily do not come low cost, so are often the protect of enormous studios.

However “To Leslie” was absent from this circuit.

Selection reported Friday that “Titanic” star Frances Fisher had posted on social media encouraging her fellow Academy members to appoint Riseborough.

“To my fellow Actors in The Academy – In accordance with Pete Hammond writing for Deadline, Andrea Riseborough can safe an Oscar nomination if 218 (out of 1,302) actors within the Actors Department nominated her in first place for Finest Actress,” she wrote on Instagram, in line with Selection.


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