The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO Bill Kramer and newly elected president Janet Yang announced Wednesday in an email to the Academy’s membership that members will be invited to serve as seat-fillers for the annual Oscars, beginning with next year’s March 12 ceremony.
In the last two years, the Academy has limited the number of Oscars tickets for non-nominated voting members due to COVID-19 protocols. Wednesday’s announcement, which also included the return of the annual ticket lottery for members, was inspired by a member’s suggestion to include more of the Academy’s membership at its annual awards ceremony. The email, provided to The Hollywood Reporter, also mentioned that a ticket lottery is in progress for the Nov. 19 Governor’s Awards.
The email also indicated that a new team will oversee in-person membership screenings in Los Angeles, New York and London: “Filmmaker and artist panels also will begin this fall and will be added to the Academy Screening Room. We will bring back screenings in San Francisco as well, and a members committee will be formed later this fall to help guide these initiatives.” The team is also exploring additional screenings in other cities across the globe.
International feature films will continue to be available on the Academy Screening Room, and the Academy will host in-person and virtual events for members that vote for the best international feature category. Following the Dec. 21 shortlist announcement, the 15 selected international features will screen in Los Angles, New York and London.
The email also included an update on the Academy’s grants program, which was halted during the pandemic for budgetary reasons. The program is not included in the Academy’s current budget, created in June, but Kramer and Yang state that they will “continue to build our robust talent development, education and community programs within the Academy (including the Academy Museum)” and that the “focus now is to invest in the film community beyond traditional grants to maximize impact. This is something we will continue to assess with the Academy Board Education and Outreach Committee as we establish the most effective way to build a more inclusive future for our industry and support our surrounding communities.”
Deadline was first to report the news.