Movie Article

Campaign Reform

Academy plans Oscar campaign crackdown. A committee is planning to implement new, more stringent campaigning rules for next year's Oscar season

Sorry, Harvey: Over-the-top, Miramax-style Oscar campaigns may become a thing of the past, thanks to new rules being considered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. A 10-member committee will release a set of new rules by the end of the summer that will restrain big-money campaigns, according to wire service reports. ''If the Oscars begins to be regarded as something that can be bought or sold, it loses whatever value it has,'' Pierson told Reuters. ''Many people in the industry feel that the campaigns have gotten so strident and so out of hand that we really should try to do something about it.''

In particular, the Academy plans to end or limit the practice of inviting Oscar voters to receptions ''in honor'' of particular nominees (which is already a dodge of current rules prohibiting parties promoting films), according to Reuters. And while current policies only allow for pulling violators' Oscar tickets, penalties may be increased under the new guidelines, AP reported. In any case, the campaign season will be shorter, since next year's Oscars have been moved up to February.

Ever-aggressive Miramax Films sparked angry criticism this year when -- in their all-out quest to nab ''Gangs of New York'' helmer Martin Scorsese the best director prize, they convinced former academy president Robert Wise to write an editorial praising Scorsese, and then ran it as an ad in the trades. Such campaigns are unfair to smaller studios that don't have as much promo cash, Pierson told Reuters. But didn't Marty lose?

Originally posted May 02, 2003
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