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British animator says fellow nominees ‘upset’ as categories cut from live show

Joanna Quinn, the director and animator behind Affairs Of The Arts (PA)
Joanna Quinn, the director and animator behind Affairs Of The Arts (PA)

A British animator who has been nominated for an Oscar said her fellow nominees were left “very upset” and felt “marginalised” by the decision to cut their categories from the ceremony’s live broadcast.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hosts the awards, has removed eight categories from the main telecast of the event on Sunday evening.

The awards for best editing, sound, makeup, original score, production design, documentary short, animated short and live action short will instead be given out before the live broadcast begins and recorded footage will then be edited into the programme as it airs.

Animator Joanna Quinn, who has been nominated for best animated short film alongside Les Mills for their Welsh film, Affair Of The Arts, said she and her fellow nominees were left feeling “marginalised” by the decision.

Speaking to Times Radio on Sunday, she said: “When it was first announced, we were all on a meeting – all of the people who would be affected by this, all of the categories, there are eight of them.

“And, of course, everybody was very upset because this is a big moment that a lot of us have worked years and years and years on these projects and it did feel like we were being marginalised a little bit.

“But it is what it is and I think the problem is that it’s ABC, who produced the programme, and they just want entertainment,” she added.

“They’re worried about ratings and I think they think ‘God who wants to see boring old categories?’.

“But you know, the point is it’s a prize-giving – it’s an award ceremony and you want to give everybody the due attention.

The 92nd Academy Awards – Arrivals – Los Angeles
A general view of the red carpet at Academy Awards in Hollywood (Jennifer Graylock/PA)

“I’ve been to lots of awards ceremonies and what’s wonderful is that everybody’s treated the same,” she added.

“Everybody in the industry recognises that people behind the camera are probably a lot more important than the people in front of the camera.

“And it’s moments like this where the people like that get the recognition so to be slightly sidelined, it’s a bit of a kick in the teeth but hey – it’s all about money.”

Quinn later added that the Academy has “made lots of promises” that the ceremony will be the same and no one will notice the changes.

Asked about rumours of a protest with people holding their awards upside down, she said: “I don’t really know – I’ve not heard too much about it.

“I mean, nobody sort of approached me and said anything. We’ll see. I’m excited.”

Quinn also described how, even as an Oscar nominee, filmmakers receive a “star of approval” in the industry and are “seen as a safe pair of hands”.

The English language version of Affair Of The Arts will premiere on BBC Two Wales at 10.15pm on Sunday and then it will be available to watch on iPlayer.

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