When I read the first summary of the new rules, what jumped out at me was that, to be eligible, a documentary had to be reviewed by either the Los Angeles Times or the New York Times. That puts enormous pressure on the critics of those papers (“Review my doc or I’ll shoot this dog”), but to qualify at all, a documentary must open and play for at least a week in both cities, so it’s fairly likely to be reviewed.
In defining a one-week run, however, the rules grow almost comical. I quote: “The motion picture must be exhibited for paid admission, and must be advertised during each of its runs in major newspapers: The New York Times, Time Out New York or The Village Voice (New York); Los Angeles Times or LA Weekly (Los Angeles). Advertisements must have minimum dimensions of one inch by two inches and must include the theater, film title and the dates and screening times of the qualifying exhibitions.” The Academy mercifully doesn’t specify type fonts.