STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie Wins Emmy, Is Oscar Next?

STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie is shortlisted for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars but won big at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. This begs the question of whether an Oscar is next for the STILL team.

The film won Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special in addition to awards for directing (Davis Guggenheim), editing (Michael Harte), and music composition (John Powell). What makes this year really interesting is the Television Academy delaying the Emmy Awards until January. This meant that it had yet to win any Emmys prior to Academy members voting on the Oscars shortlists ahead of nominations. What we do know is that the Emmys changed their rules for 2023. For 2022, just placing the film on the AMPAS viewing platform meant disqualifying for the Emmys. The rule states as follows:

“Documentaries that appear on the AMPAS viewing platform but have not received an Oscar nomination may still qualify for Emmy consideration.”

For instance, both Moonage Daydream and The Territory took home a few Emmy Awards this evening but neither film earned any Oscar nominations last year. Had they earned Oscar nominations, they would lose Emmy eligibility for this year. However, STILL‘s release–theatrical and streaming–came this past May. It was just in time to get consideration for the Emmy Awards. But again, Apple TV+ is also pushing the film for the Oscars. Technically speaking, the film has not received an Oscar nomination. It’s just that the Emmy nominations and window came months before the Oscars shortlist announcement.

Regarding the Oscars, they have their own special rules for documentary features under Rule 12 for the 96th Academy Awards. The Academy has a FAQ for documentary features. There is nothing in there stating that a film could be disqualified after winning an Emmy Award.

Nomination voting begins on January 11 at 9 AM PT, running through January 16 at 9 AM PT. The Oscar Nominations announcement will take place January 23. It’ll be a busy day for cinephiles and baseball fans with the BBWAA Baseball Hall of Fame election announcement coming on the same day at 6 PM ET.

Personally, I think studios and documentary filmmakers need to decide on one or the other. I get that the awards come with prestige but it’s not fair to other filmmakers when studios have enough money to campaign for both. Enough with the double dipping. I said as much in 2019 and I’m saying it again right now. If a film wins an Emmy, it should not qualify for an Oscar. The Emmys have it right as far as Oscar winners being ineligible. But again, the films are usually campaigning for Oscar well before campaigning for an Emmy because of how the windows tend to be. One or the other but not both. The system needs to change and I say this after naming STILL as my #1 documentary of the year.

The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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