MOVIES | AMPAS announces 2013 Academy Awards telecast date, other changes

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced key dates for the 85th Academy Awards season.

One of the biggest changes is the timing of the Nominee announcements. In an effort to provide members and the public a longer period of time to see the nominated films, the Academy will reveal the 85th Academy Awards nominations on January 10, five days earlier than previously announced.

Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 is the 85th Academy Awards presentation live from the Dolby Theatre (formerly the Kodak Theater) in Hollywood by the ABC Television Network. A 90-minute red carpet show will precede the broadcast.

Electronic votes

Also new for the 85th Oscars will be the first time the Academy will provide its membership the opportunity to vote electronically. Together with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Everyone Counts, the Academy has been developing an electronic voting process for more than a year. Voting membership in the organization has now held steady at just under 6,000 members since 2003.

However, in the pre-Nominations phase, members will continue to vote via paper ballot in eight categories due to specialized screening schedules and processes. Those categories are Animated Feature Film, Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Hairstyling and Visual Effects.

Don Mischer was tapped to direct the 85th Academy Awards telecast. This will be Mischer’s third consecutive year as director of the Oscars. He has served as producer as well as director on the 83rd and 84th Academy Awards. Television and theater producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the telecast.

Another change for the 85th Academy Awards is in the Original Song category, in which there will now be five nominees.