A rule change opens up Searching for Sugar Man and other “mainstream” docs to the glories of the Academy. Full story at the New York Times:
Even if there hadn’t been a change in the Academy’s rules this year, “Searching for Sugar Man” would probably rank as the favorite in the race for the Oscar for best-feature length documentary. But the rules have been altered significantly, thereby broadening the types and numbers of Academy voters eligible to cast ballots in the doc category, and that decision appears to favor “Sugar Man,” made by the Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul on a shoestring budget.
In previous years, voting in the documentary category was limited to Academy members who had attended special screenings. This year, though, voting has been opened up to all Academy members, and to make that process easier, the Academy even agreed to make DVDs available to voters — even footing the bill, since documentary filmmakers rarely have the kind of budget that would allow them that kind of promotional effort.