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Aussies face an Oscar backlash (Photo: AAP)

Aussie Oscar nominees facing snub
15:37 AEDT Thu Feb 24 2005

A controversial change to the Academy Awards ceremony could leave Australian nominees Sejong Park and Andrew Gregory out in the cold even if they win the Oscar.

Jotting down an acceptance speech could be a waste of time for the Sydney animated filmmakers.

They also might not be invited up on stage to collect their award. Park, Gregory and the nominees of the Oscars' less glamorous categories will likely become the victims of a slimming down of the television broadcast of Monday's 77th Annual Academy Awards ceremony.

To save time in the telecast, the winners of Park and Gregory's short animated film category will likely be presented with Oscars in their seats.

There will be no walk up to the podium.

No speech.

The exact details of the slimmed down Academy Awards ceremony are yet to be made public, but Park and Gregory expect to know more when nominees attend an Oscar rehearsal in Hollywood.

The glamour acting, directing and best picture categories are safe.

Viewers tuning into the Oscars will see Cate Blanchett give her speech on stage if she wins best supporting actress.

They'll also see Leonardo DiCaprio or Jamie Foxx if either wins the best actor prize.

"I think there's the A team and the B team and I think we're definitely in the B team," Gregory, who produced Park's nominated animated short film Birthday Boy, said.

"So, as to how much time we'll have if we do happen to win, we'll find out at the rehearsal tomorrow."

Other Oscar categories expected to have their moment in the spotlight chopped include the best live action short film and the editing category.

"Editing is in the same boat which I think is a bizarre choice and apparently caused quite a ruckus," Gregory said.

"Although I think the first couple of years of the Oscars they were handed out in the foyer of one of the hotels, so it's not that bad."

In another change to the way some Oscars will be handed out, the nominees of a category will be invited on stage and then the winner announced.

Gregory and Park are the favourites for the Oscar in their category after claiming the British Oscar equivalent, the British Academy Film Award, on February 12 in London.

The duo has been soaking up the pre-Oscar atmosphere in Los Angeles with one of the highlights the traditional Oscar nominees luncheon.

At that event there was no hierarchy.

The seating arrangements were random, so the actors and directors found themselves seated with nominees in the less fashionable categories.

"The good thing about the Academy lunch is everyone was on the same level," Gregory said.

"There was no hierarchy. It was a good, fun event. It would be a shame if that was lost in packaging the event for TV."

The Oscars ceremony is scheduled to begin at about noon on Monday (AEDT).

©AAP 2005

10:37 AEDT Fri Feb 25 2005

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