How Do Movies Qualify for the Oscars? Unveiling the Awards Eligibility Criteria

how to apply a film for oscar. What are its eligibility for oscar nomination?

The Oscars, synonymous with cinematic excellence, are set to celebrate their 96th edition in 2024. While the glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards are well-known, the specific criteria that films must meet to be eligible for nomination often remain shrouded in mystery. What does it really take for a film to compete for the most prestigious awards in the film industry?

Do you think the current Oscar eligibility criteria are fair for all filmmakers?

Introduction to the Oscars Eligibility Criteria

The Oscars not only celebrate outstanding achievements in film but also set a high standard for what constitutes a worthy contender. With the evolution of film technology and distribution, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences continually updates its rules to maintain the integrity of the award process. Here’s a breakdown of the key eligibility criteria for films hoping to secure a spot at the upcoming 2024 Academy Awards.

Key Eligibility Rules for the 2024 Oscars

1. Film Length and Quality:

  • Minimum Runtime: A film must be at least 40 minutes long to qualify as a feature film under Academy rules.
  • Exhibition Quality: Films must be shown via 35mm or 70mm film, or in a 24- or 48-frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format, ensuring high-quality visuals that meet the Academy’s standards.

2. Screening Requirements:

  • Theatrical Run: To be eligible, a movie must have been shown in a commercial cinema theater for at least seven consecutive days, with at least three screenings per day.
  • Geographical Coverage: These screenings must take place in one of six specified metropolitan areas in the United States, including Los Angeles, New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Miami, and Atlanta.

3. Theatrical Premiere:

  • Initial Exhibition: A film must have its first public exhibition or premiere in a theater. Films that debut through television, streaming platforms, or DVD are not eligible for consideration.

The Impact of Streaming Platforms

The rise of streaming services has significantly impacted the film industry, prompting the Oscars to adapt their criteria. Despite the flexibility in distribution methods, the requirement for a traditional theatrical release underscores the Academy’s commitment to cinema as a communal, theatrical experience. This stipulation ensures that all films are judged on a level playing field, regardless of their distribution model.


The eligibility criteria for the Oscars are designed to uphold the tradition and quality of the cinematic arts. By requiring a theatrical release and setting specific standards for film length and screening quality, the Academy aims to preserve the prestige of the Oscars while adapting to modern filmmaking and distribution methods.

Now, we turn to you, the readers: Do you believe that the Oscars’ eligibility rules are keeping pace with the changing dynamics of film production and distribution? Cast your vote in our poll and share your thoughts on whether these criteria fairly represent all filmmakers in the industry.

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