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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 14:09 GMT
'Time running out' for Oscar deal
Sid Ganis with actress Marion Cotillard at a luncheon on Monday
Mr Ganis earlier said there was "no doubt" the Oscars would go ahead
Academy Award organisers have said they are "running out of time" in the search for a deal to avoid the Oscars being hit by the Hollywood writers' strike.

The awards could be boycotted by stars and scaled down if writers do not agree to suspend picket lines for the ceremony in Los Angeles on 24 February.

Oscars boss Sid Ganis said writers had not responded to requests for a waiver.

Meanwhile, union leaders said they hoped to present a "tentative" deal to end the strike to members this weekend.

'Final moments'

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has already agreed not to picket Sunday's Grammy awards in Los Angeles as well as allowing writers to work on the show.

We have nominees and potential presenters who live all over the globe. I'm nervous
Sid Ganis

But it has yet to say whether or not it will picket the Oscars.

Last month's Golden Globe awards were scaled down to a one-hour press conference because of the strike, meaning none of the stars were present.

While uncertainty remains, Oscars organisers are also preparing for a back-up show including a history of the awards and film clips.

Mr Ganis said organisers needed to know the intentions of the WGA as soon as possible "as a matter of logistics".

"We have nominees and potential presenters who live all over the globe. I'm nervous," Mr Ganis told Variety.

"We're getting down to the final moments - we need to make plans."

Vote hope

But Mr Ganis said he was "feeling great" about apparent progress between the WGA and production companies.

"I'm a filmmaker and I want everybody back working," he added.

Hilary Swank at the 2005 Vanity Fair party
The Vanity Fair Oscars party was cancelled because of the strike

In a letter written to WGA members on Wednesday, leaders said they were "continuing to negotiate the terms of a tentative agreement" with production companies.

They hoped to present terms of the agreement to members "in the next few days" ahead of meetings in New York and Los Angeles on Saturday.

Writers would be asked for their views at the meetings and "recommendations or decisions" may then be made, the letter added.

At the weekend, the two sides made progress on negotiations over internet and DVD payments for writers' work, the Associated Press said.

If a deal can be reached, WGA members could vote to call off the strike, which began in November.

Earlier this week, the Vanity Fair party - one of Oscar night's most exclusive gatherings - was cancelled in solidarity with the writers.

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