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Oscars to Have 10 Best Picture Nominees

06/24/2009 at 04:30 PM EDT

Oscars to Have 10 Best Picture Nominees
Kate Winslet and Sean Penn
Mark J. Terrill/AP; Kevin Winter/Getty
Let the Best Picture campaigning begin – and this year, the more the merrier.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday plans to increase the number of Best Picture nominees from five to 10 for the 82nd Academy Awards, which will be presented on March 7, 2010.

"After more than six decades, the Academy is returning to some of its earlier roots, when a wider field competed for the top award of the year," Academy president Sid Ganis announced. "Having 10 Best Picture nominees is going to allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories, but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize."

Ganis added, "I can't wait to see what that list of 10 looks like when the nominees are announced in February."

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