Okay, maybe that title is an exaggeration. But still, the Academy Awards have released their new rules, which are not very subtle in their complaints about the campaign for Best Actress for Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady last year. The rules say things like only four private screenings for a nominated film with a Q&A and ban food and drink from being served at a private screening. This is obviously a reaction to the screenings Meryl Streep had in her own home for The Iron Lady which were followed by a formal dinner that she hosted.
This may also be related to the Academy's nervousness at the aggressive and original campaign strategies the Weinstein Company has been using that may be related to their total domination of the award ceremonies in the past few years.
Here is the full email:
The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has updated regulations for how companies and individuals may market movies and achievements eligible for the 85th Academy Awards® to Academy members. The changes pertain to screenings that feature live filmmaker participation, the formats on which members may receive screeners, and limitations on how mail, email and websites may be used in campaigning.
“These rules help us maintain a level playing field for all of the nominees and protect the integrity of the Awards process,” said Academy President Tom Sherak.
After the announcement of nominations on January 15, 2013, and until the final polls close (February 19, 2013), Academy members may be invited to up to four screenings of a nominated film that are preceded or followed by filmmaker Q&As or other such participation. A fifth such event in the United Kingdom will be permitted. All participants must be nominated or have been eligible for nomination. No screening event may include a reception or otherwise offer complimentary food or beverages. These limitations do not apply to screenings held by the Academy, guilds or similar organizations.
The regulations also now stipulate that members may receive the film both on DVD and as a digital download.
Additionally, each week, members may be sent only one piece of mail and one email per film company. The rules maintain the prohibition on sending members links to websites that promote a film using audio, video, or other multimedia elements, but may include links to the videos in the “Academy Conversations” series on Oscars.org.
The Academy has augmented its existing ban on film companies using third parties to distribute materials that they would be prohibited from sending directly. The regulation now specifies that film companies may not have a publication use its subscriber lists to send stand alone materials to members, except in connection with the distribution of the publication itself. This amendment does not affect a company’s ability to place their usual promotional materials in trade publications.
Similarly, while guilds and other awards organizations may hold non-screening events after the nominations announcement, this rule now specifies that film companies may not use such occasions as opportunities to sponsor promotional events that would otherwise violate Academy regulations.