Filmmakers Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro and Patty Jenkins have slammed Oscars bosses for agreeing to hand out editing and cinematography awards during commercial breaks.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president John Bailey confirmed the news in a letter to members on Monday (11Feb19), revealing the honours, as well as those for live action short, and make-up and hairstyling will not be presented live during the Oscars telecast on 24 February (19).
Instead, the winners will take the stage during commercial breaks and their acceptance speeches will feature later in the show.
The move was made in an effort to make sure the ceremony runs no longer than three hours, but directors like Cuaron, whose film Roma is the favourite for the Best Cinematography prize, thinks it's a terrible idea.
"In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music," he writes in a statement. "No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing."
Del Toro, who won the Best Director award last year (18) for The Shape of Water, adds: "If I may: I would not presume to suggest what categories to cut during the Oscars show but Cinematography and Editing are at the very heart of our craft. They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition: they are cinema itself."
And Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins agreed, adding: "I couldn’t agree more. If we are here to celebrate the craft and medium, its hard to imagine putting these categories down a tier from any others."
Meanwhile, revered cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki - a three-time Oscar winner for Gravity, Birdman and The Revenant, has taken to Instagram to challenge the Academy bosses' "unfortunate" decision, stating: "Cinematography and editing are probably the 'elementary particles', the primordial components of cinema."