Oscars organisers considering holding awards earlier in the year

London: Oscars organisers are considering bringing the awards date forward from next year.

Governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences met at a board meeting this week to discuss a plan to move the famous awards ceremony to January.

The awards are currently held at the end of February and the Oscar-campaigning season usually lasts from early December until late February, a period in which actors, directors and producers work hard at getting their films noticed.

It is also a crucial time for independent films to build up some critical acclaim to encourage cinema ticket sales.

But Oscars bosses have been irked by the profusion of other film awards that detract from the excitement of Oscars night rather than enhance it.

The Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild and the Baftas in London all precede the Oscars, often honouring the same films, actors and directors.

The shorter campaign season that would result from moving the Oscars to January might also please some stars, who have privately complained about how exhausting it can be.

However, critics say a shorter season would rush the judging process, increasing the chances of undeserving films winning.

In making their selections, Academy members currently tend to watch the competing films over the Christmas holidays.

But if nomination deadlines moved earlier, that screening process would have to begin in October and November, hampering the chances of later releases.

And all films would suffer if, as expected, an earlier Oscars cut the amount of time that releases spent in cinemas.

The academy moved swiftly to stress that next year`s awards will not be moved from their February 27 date but it admitted it is continuing to discuss a change, possibly as early as 2012.

"There are a number of questions still to be answered and challenges to be addressed with regard to moving the show to an earlier date," the Telegraph quoted a statement from the academy.

Hollywood watchers are split on whether an early Oscars would be good or bad.

"Moving up the Oscars would be catastrophic for a movie``s financial success because it trims the amount of time they``re in theatres," Tom O`Neil, a film industry commentator at the TheEnvelope.com, said.

"Already there``s barely enough time to see all 10 best picture contenders once nominations are announced," he added.



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