Academy approves major changes to Oscars telecast - Silver Screen Beat
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Oscars telecast shortens its length, adds new ‘popular film’ award in bid to boost viewership

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On Tuesday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors approved several major changes to the Academy Awards telecast, many of which will affect the upcoming 91st Oscars telecast, which is scheduled for February 24, 2019.

Academy president John Bailey and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson sent a letter to members Tuesday night outlining the changes that are to come, one of which will be the introduction of a new category: Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film.

“Eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming,” the letter reads. This will be the first time a new category has been announced since 2001 when the Academy board voted to approve the introduction of a Best Animated Feature award.

Among the other key changes to the awards ceremony is the commitment to a three-hour-long telecast, which means that select categories will have to be presented during commercial breaks. However, those categories will not be excluded from the telecast altogether, according to the letter.

“We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide,” the letter states. “To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined). The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast.”

The final change that was approved will only affect the 92nd Oscars telecast, which will move from February 23, 2020, to February 9, 2020. The letter assures members that the change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.

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You can read the Academy’s letter in its entirety below:

Dear Member,

Last night, the Board of Governors met to elect new board officers, and discuss and approve significant changes to the Oscars telecast.

The Board of Governors, staff, Academy members, and various working groups spent the last several months discussing improvements to the show.

Tonight, the Board approved three key changes:

1. A three-hour Oscars telecast

We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide.

To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined). The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast.

2. New award category

We will create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film. Eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming.

3. Earlier airdate for 92nd Oscars

The date of the 92nd Oscars telecast will move to Sunday, February 9, 2020, from the previously announced February 23. The date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.

The 91st Oscars telecast remains as announced on Sunday, February 24, 2019.

We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously.

We are excited about these steps, and look forward to sharing more details with you.

John Bailey and Dawn Hudson

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Netflix releases a stunning first trailer for Alfonso Cuarón’s black-and-white family drama ‘Roma’

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Ahead of the film’s debut at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, Netflix has released the stunning first trailer for Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón’s black-and-white drama Roma, which is also set to play at the New York Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival in the coming months.

Roma is set in Mexico City in the early 1970s and follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young domestic worker for a family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma in Mexico City. Delivering an artful love letter to the women who raised him, Cuarón draws on his own childhood to create a vivid and emotional portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst the political turmoil of the 1970s.

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“Ninety percent of the scenes represented in the film are scenes taken out of my memory,” Cuarón told IndieWire last month. “Sometimes directly, sometimes a bit more obliquely. It’s about a moment of time that shaped me, but also a moment of time that shaped a country. It was the beginning of a long transition in Mexico.”

After its run on the festival circuit later this year, Netflix will release Roma in theaters and on its streaming service in December. You can check out the trailer for the film below.

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Disney has no plans to reinstate James Gunn as director of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’

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Despite the strong support of nearly 400,000 fans via a Change.org petition and an open letter from the Guardians of the Galaxy cast themselves, Disney and Marvel have no plans to rehire James Gunn as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 following his firing last month.

Variety reports that Gunn and Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn recently met to discuss the firing, which came after old, offensive tweets the filmmaker wrote nearly a decade ago began to resurface as part of a smear campaign led by right-wing blogger and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich.

While the meeting was described as “civil and professional,” Horn only decided to take the meeting “as a courtesy to clear the air with Gunn” and was not considering giving him a second chance, despite the pleas of Gunn’s agents. Sources with insider knowledge say Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was out of town at the time of the meeting and was unable to attend, but supports Horn’s decision not to reinstate Gunn.

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Earlier this month, the Guardians cast, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, and Michael Rooker, all signed an open letter in support of Gunn, who was set to begin production on the third installment in the critically acclaimed franchise early next year.

Bautista has been particularly vocal about Gunn’s firing on social media, writing in one tweet that he will do what he is contractually obligated to do with Disney, but “Guardians without James Gunn is not what I signed up for” and that “it’s also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists.”

Guardians 3 is scheduled to be released May 1, 2020, but, depending on how long it takes Disney and Marvel to find a replacement for Gunn, that date could, and will most likely, change.

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YouTube forced to remove ‘The Nun’ jump-scare ad after getting complaints from terrified users

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On Monday, YouTube announced that it had removed a video advertisement for The Nun, the upcoming next installment in The Conjuring franchise, for being in violation of their shocking content policy. However, it appears the ad in question only came to the video-sharing site’s attention after scaring the bejesus out of some very unsuspecting users.

“Warning! If you see an ad on YouTube with the volume sign being turned down and nothing else, it’s a jump-scare for The Nun movie coming out,” one Twitter user wrote last week. “I advise you look away and or turn down the volume if you have anxiety or just straight up hate jump-scares.”

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Just a few days later, the official Twitter account for Team YouTube responded to the tweet, which has been retweeted more than 136,000 times since Sunday, saying that the advertisement was no longer running on their ad network.

The ad isn’t gone altogether from YouTube, though, as it has been reuploaded to the platform by dozens of users, one of which says they were “shook” after seeing the six-second clip at 3 a.m. one night. It begins with a volume icon going up and down against a black background before a horrifying, shrieking demonic-looking nun appears out of nowhere.

If you’re brave enough, you can check out the ad for yourself below. Don’t say we didn’t warn you, though.

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