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THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: MPAA Kills Academy Award Video Screeners

30 Sep, 2003 By: Staff Reporter

The seven member companies of the Motion Picture Association of America, joined by DreamWorks and New Line, have agreed not to send out screeners during the upcoming Academy Awards season, MPAA chief Jack Valenti announced Sept. 30.

VHS and DVD screeners -- mailed to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members as well as guild members and awards groups like the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. -- have become a staple of the awards season process.

Proponents of screeners argue that they allow members of awards groups such as the Academy to sample a wider group of films, thereby putting smaller specialty releases on a more equal footing with wide-release studio films. But, concerned that the widespread distribution of DVD screeners is contributing to film piracy, Valenti has convinced the major studios, along with their subsidiary specialized film divisions, to go along with the ban. He defended the ban as part of “a determined commitment to combat digital piracy and to save movie jobs in the future.”

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