Film academy reviews Oscar campaigns after surprise nomination

LOS ANGELES, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Hollywood’s film academy said on Friday it was reviewing this year’s campaigns for Oscar nominations, a day after a media report raised questions about the surprise nod from British actress Andrea Riseborough.

On Tuesday, Riseborough was nominated for Best Actress for playing an alcoholic single mother in the little-seen film ‘To Leslie’, a shock to awards pundits who didn’t expect her to be in the mix.

Media newsletter Puck reported on Thursday that the unexpected nomination has sparked questions about whether an aggressive campaign for Riseborough violated lobbying rules set out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The academy released a statement on Friday saying the organization was «conducting a review of campaign procedures around this year’s nominees, to ensure that no guidelines were violated.» The statement did not name Riseborough.

The review also aims «to inform us if changes to the guidelines may be necessary in a new era of social media and digital communication,» the statement said.

The academy limits how studios can contact voters, how often, and what they can say in all communications as part of their Oscar campaigns.

Puck reported that the director’s wife, actress Mary McCormack, and friends «emailed and called tons of members of the Academy’s acting wing begging them to see the little alcoholic drama. watched and post online about Riseborough’s scorching performance.»

Dozens of A-list stars went on to «sing her praises and help her earn the coveted nomination,» Puck said.

Representatives for McCormack and Riseborough did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

«To Leslie» has collected $27,000 at the box office since its October release, according to Box Office Mojo.

“We have confidence in the integrity of our nominating and voting procedures, and support genuine grassroots campaigns for outstanding performance,” the academy statement read.

Oscar winners will be announced on March 12.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Sandra Maler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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