In years past, AMPAS has adopted the shortlist strategy to help narrow down potential nominees for various Oscar categories. Several categories, including Foreign Language Film and Makeup & Hairstyling, offer the ability to focus in on a dozen frontrunners instead of hundreds of films per category. The process has helped to deliver quality nominees over the years, especially in the Visual Effects category. This year, two more categories moved to this format. Both Original Score and Original Song will utilize this system moving forward. Now, we’ve received word that all 9 AMPAS categories that use a shortlist will announce on the same day.
According to an exclusive from Scott Feinberg at the Hollywood Reporter, the expansion of the shortlist categories helped solidify a single release day for all of the groups. While some voting for AMPAS shortlists would begin as early as October, the new timeline will commence voting for the shortlists in early December. The voting will last for two weeks, culminating in a shortlist announcement on December 17th.
This should be a net positive for the shortlist contenders. Now, there can be more films seen in time for the shortlist nominations. When voting began in October, voters could lose weeks of viewing to decide their nominees. This will give studios a better chance to position their films, and the critics time to voice their picks as well. If nothing else, this could help to raise the profile of some of the below-the-line craftsman who will get pushed to commercials in the actual ceremony.
There was no word about how the Visual Effects category will do their voting process, which traditionally uses two shortlists. The first shortlist would have 20 nominees, with a second drop to 10. The official lists of categories that utilizes the shortlist system can be found below.
Foreign Language Film
Makeup & Hairstyling