Eligibility changes at AACTA and new award announced

AACTA have announced a few policy changes for feature film eligibility making it easier for films to get AACTA recognition.

A new award has also been announced for Best Online Video or Series.

You can read the statements from AACTA below.

Feature Film Eligibility Policy Changes

Following extensive industry consultation, AACTA has announced a new feature film eligibility policy for the 7th AACTA Awards in response to increasing feature film volumes in the ever-changing screen industry landscape and to allow for greater diversity and inclusivity.

Historically, feature films have been able to enter and proceed to competition for the AACTA Awards either through Direct Eligibility (via traditional theatrical release), or Pre-Selection (a jury-assessed pathway designed to allow a wider range of films, that don’t meet the direct eligibility criteria, to be considered on merit and not their distribution model).

In 2017, AACTA will be replacing this two-tier process and the Pre-Selection jury with a single clear pathway that lessens the potential barriers to entry. As part of the new and more accessible eligibility policy, AACTA is broadening the definition of a ‘theatrical release’ to include major local and international film festival screenings (full list of qualifying film festivals below). AACTA’s revised policy also makes considerations for releases outside of a commercial cinema setting, such as VOD and SVOD platforms.

All films meeting the new eligibility criteria will be entitled to compete for the 7th AACTA Awards, creating greater inclusivity for those films that take a less traditional release path, opening the pathway for a broader diversity of films and filmmakers. The key changes also acknowledge and embrace the significant role Australian film festivals play in the discovery and fostering of local screen talent and the contribution of international film festivals toward the recognition of some of our best and most innovative works.

AACTA Award for Best Online Video or Series

On the back of the abundance of exciting Australian digital content, which has gained huge viewer numbers and critical acclaim both locally and internationally, the AACTA Award for Best Online Video or Series has been introduced in consultation with Screen Australia and other key organisations working in the online video and series space, including the Australian Online Video Awards and the ABC.

AACTA is proud to introduce the Award, extending the reach of the AACTA Awards into dedicated online content and marking an exciting new pathway for recognising Australian talent working in the burgeoning online space.

Over the last few years, a wealth of Australian content has been made specifically for online viewing, with hits including BONDI HIPSTERSTHE KATERING SHOW and STARTING FROM…NOW!. In 2017 alone, there are over 40 scripted online productions available or slated to appear, with many involving past AFI and AACTA Award winners.

In its inaugural year, the Award will be open to scripted Australian productions that are intended primarily for online release and viewing. The nominees of the category will be determined by a panel of jurors with substantial experience in the field of online production and commissioning, with the winner to be determined by AFI and AACTA member voting

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