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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 October, 2003, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK
Actors' ad slates Oscar DVD ban
Adrien Brody with his best actor Oscar
Adrien Brody won an Oscar for The Pianist
Adrien Brody and Susan Sarandon are among actors reported to be taking out an advert protesting against a ban on sending DVDs of films to Oscar voters.

The advert is set to appear in Wednesday's film industry papers asking the Motion Picture Association Of America (MPAA) to change its mind.

The MPAA imposed the ban on "screeners" amid fears it would encourage piracy.

However, those contesting the ban have said it will disadvantage smaller films that voters would otherwise not see.

The ad, also signed by Keanu Reeves, is set to appear in Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.

It calls on the MPAA to reverse its decision to issue screeners to Academy members who vote on the awards.

Independent film industry group IFP/Los Angeles is spearheading the drive to allow screeners to be sent to voters, fearing smaller films will be passed over by Academy voters restricted by time and unable to get to the cinema often enough.

Well-written films

Already 142 directors, including Pedro Almodovar, Francis Ford Coppola, James Ivory and Martin Scorsese, have written an open letter to MPAA president Jack Valenti requesting the ban be lifted.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) was the first Hollywood union to attack the ban on screeners for Oscar eligible films.

Screeners are DVDs of films sent out to voters for viewing. They are useful for smaller films seeking Oscar nomination.

"Screeners have become an important part of the way small, well-written films find their audience," WGA West president Victoria Riskin said.

The MPAA has been at the forefront of the ban, which has the support most of the major studios.

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